By David Kligman
Two PG&E IT telecommunication technicians were on assignment during the storm that battered Northern California this week. It was important work but an even more pressing need took priority as they drove in heavy snow.
Carl Kistler and Curtis Wheeler were headed to a rural area of El Dorado County when they were forced to stop Wednesday night (Jan. 11). A medical delivery van was stuck in the snow, blocking the one-way road.
It turns out an oxygen tank was being delivered to an elderly homeowner who lives alone in a cabin with only his dogs.
The Auburn-based PG&E employees immediately helped. They got the driver unstuck after multiple attempts. They then used the homeowner’s pickup to transport the oxygen to the house.
While Kistler and Wheeler were in a four-wheel drive truck, the medical delivery truck had improperly installed snow chains and wasn’t suited for the conditions.
“The poor dude was woefully unprepared for driving in bad weather,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler said he and his colleague were proud of what they had done. Especially considering many think IT employees wear tennis shoes and work on computers all day.
“We felt pretty good,” he said. “We did some good and helped out a guy who needed some help.”
For PG&E, it was another example of providing aid to customers in a time of need, said Michael Savage, PG&E senior director of IT maintenance. In this case, the biggest storm series in years to impact the area.
“This is a great example of making the right choice and helping one of our customers,” said Savage.
The next day, Wheeler and Kistler finished their intended job — delivering a portable generator to keep a two-way radio operating for electric crews making storm repairs.
Email David Kligman at David.Kligman@pge.com.