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Storms...and Lessons

It’s storm season again…but, then again, when isn’t it nowadays.

Two major hurricanes have battered the east coast recently which is the reason that this story comes to mind. Not so much the storms but the lessons we learn from responding to the call. During my career, I, like so many of you, have experienced many different types of callouts. There is a lot to learn each time that we head out the door for these events. The knowledge gained is not limited to one particular subject, there are many different facets`, which hopefully will become the topic of future essays.

 This story is just one lesson, a simple one. Many times, in the past, our crews would be called in for storms and outages within our coverage area. However, after reporting in, we would be sent to other divisions or, in some cases, other organizations. These trips required us to be away for a couple of days. Since there was no advance notice, the crews were unprepared and had nothing but the clothes on their backs. And there were no provisions available to provide anything.

For this reason, it didn’t take long to implement the old Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared.” On each callout afterwards, a go-bag (change of clothes, overnight items) was part of the routine. There were many times that the bag went home untouched but then, other times…

We were working a fierce Nor’easter. The rain and wind were unrelenting. Despite our rain gear, we were all soaked through.

The following morning, after the storm and outages were past, I returned to the yard and changed into dry clothes. The manager came into the shop, cold, tired and completely soaked. This man, who prided himself on being “one of the boys” but had a habit of trying to make some of us miserable, looked at me and was ready to pounce. I just looked at him and said, “I always bring a change, just in case.” And went about my business.

Terry Bellew

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