Delmarva Power honors its gas employees that serve our customers throughout New Castle County as we celebrate Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day on March 18. We sat down with Kevin Freebery, a utility energy serviceperson, to learn more about his 32 years of experience as a gas employee with Delmarva Power.
Tell us about the work you do in the service department.
We do a wide range of jobs that include both gas and electric work. Our primary focus is emergency response to gas leaks, carbon monoxide calls and hit lines. We also perform maintenance work on above ground gas meters, gas and electric turn-ons and re-lighting gas appliances for customers.
How did you get into this line of work?
My father was a lineman and a troubleman for 40 years with Delmarva Power. He was very active in the IBEW. When I was 19, I started working with a construction local IBEW and began serving in my trade and a few years later moved to Delmarva Power.
What is it like to work for Delmarva Power?
If you are going to learn a trade and work in the field, I don’t think there’s any place better to learn and do it. It is a secure living. We get tremendous support from the company and the union to be able to do the job safely.
What might customers not know about the work that you do?
We are just as invested in keeping our customers in service as they want to be in service. We always ensure that we can keep the lights on and gas running safely and reliably.
How has your job changed over 30 years?
Having a computer in the truck is huge and has drastically changed how we communicate. I can access the gas grid immediately if there is a hit line. Thirty years ago, we called operations on the radio, got a hold of the engineer and they would pull up the map while we waited for information. Access to technology has made our job safer and we know much sooner what is going on.
What keeps you motivated?
The last several years I’ve been involved with training the future generation. It has been fun for me to watch them come along and be productive employees, while also earning a living for their families. They have also taught me things and that makes it a great working dynamic for all. Most importantly, the company and the union provide great support to do these trainings right, ensuring everyone is safe.
Thank you to Kevin and all of our Delmarva Power gas team for the work that you all do each and every day to deliver safe and reliable service for our customers and communities.