The old saying, “Safety doesn’t happen by accident” certainly holds true for BendBroadband’ field service technicians (FSTs). Newly-hired technicians spend their early days with the company learning the ropes—figuratively and literally.
Mike Shinee—senior safety administrator at TDS—has built BendBroadband/TDS’ Field Service safety program from the ground up. With 27 years of service in public safety and emergency services, Mike became an EMT in 1991, and currently serves as a captain in the Lancaster Fire Department in Lancaster, Wisconsin. In addition, Mike has served as the Chief of Special Operations in Grant County, and runs the Technical Rescue Team for southwest Wisconsin.
Mike put his FST training plan into place in 2017 and since then 785 FSTs have been trained.
The program includes a five-day, new-hire training session that specializes in climbing and safety. These new training exercises include safe vehicle operation, safety policy, roadside safety, and ladder/pole climbing. The session also includes CPR certification through the American Heart Association.
As the program has grown, so too has the number of people involved in running the operation. Many other FSTs have joined the team to ensure that safety education continues. Mike said that their commitment to continuing education and re-certification has made an incredible difference in how TDS has approached Field Service safety. Now, not only do new hires undergo training, but current, veteran FSTs take part in biennial education sessions to ensure that they are staying safe and operating according to procedure.
“We’ve brought a new level of safety to BendBroadband and its employees,” said Mike. “BendBroadband is showing its commitment to grow the safety program and ensure our team members are prepared and properly trained.”
In addition to Mike’s leadership, there’s a group of Field Safety Leaders in the BendBroadband and TDS cable markets, that our serving the FSTs:
- Chester Parker, Bend, Oregon
- Andres Rivera, Fort Stockton, Texas
- Mike Rogers, Bend, Oregon
- Bill Hatch, Hotchkiss, Colorado
By Joe Pueschner
Joe is a TDS Communication Intern, and a senior at the University of Wisconsin Madison who loves to cook, hit the gym, and listen to podcasts.