Category Archives: Employee Spotlight

Safety first is philosophy in training field service techs

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.

Ray Hoffman: 35 years with BendBroadband

Ray Hoffman: 35 years with BendBroadband

BendBroadband is recognizing employees who are celebrating significant work anniversaries this year. When BendBroadband Network Specialist Ray Hoffman started with Bend Cable in 1984, Central Oregon was in the middle of a lengthy recession. Few homes were being built in the area, and the number of specialized cable TV programmers continued to increase. “When I… Continue Reading

He travels to Bend for work, volunteers here too

He travels to Bend for work, volunteers here too

Alan Leopold enjoys helping others. When he’s at home, he’s a volunteer firefighter for the North Freedom Fire Department in Wisconsin and has been for the last 23 years. However, Alan often travels from Madison, Wisconsin to Bend to train employees, so when he’s away from home, Alan continues to give back. When Alan first traveled… Continue Reading

BendBroadband field techs work with at-risk youth program

BendBroadband field technicians are taking their knowledge and expertise and sharing it with area at-risk youth through the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program. The Youth Challenge Program is a residential alternative high school where students (or “cadets,” as they’re known in the program) live on site for five months while attending a military model school.… Continue Reading

BendBroadband field techs work with at-risk youth program
Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect

Ever wondered what it takes to be a BendBroadband installer? It’s a year-long process to master the ins and outs of the job. Only practice makes perfect. At the entrance to a crawl space, Eric Thompson puts on his blue crawl suit. His mission: to replace a faulty cable splitter somewhere under the house. He pulls a protective mask… Continue Reading

Kudos to the 2014 Local Dog Giving Game award recipients

Kudos to the 2014 Local Dog Giving Game award recipients

BendBroadband is proud to reveal the recipients of the 2014 Local Dog Giving Game. BendBroadband has a long history of giving back to the communities it serves. Beyond the yearly giving activities, the holiday season is a time to recognize and thank the many nonprofit organizations that serve Central Oregonians. This year, BendBroadband invited its… Continue Reading

John Hammarley nominated for an Emmy

John Hammarley nominated for an Emmy

Local television reporter John Hammarley has been nominated for the prestigious Emmy Award for a heartwarming story about a young Central Oregon man’s quest to help less fortunate kids. Hammarley is a feature reporter with “myWindow,” a Central Oregon lifestyle show that is featured on the local CBS and ABC stations. Hammarley has covered many… Continue Reading

Veterans Day: BendBroadband honors those who served

Veterans Day: BendBroadband honors those who served

Veterans Day honors those who have served in all branches of the armed services: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard (including the Reserves and the National Guard). BendBroadband employs a large number of veterans. Veterans Day is a federal holiday, so federal workers get a paid day off. BendBroadband is proud to support,… Continue Reading