My Story - How 811 Damage Prevention became my calling!

How 811 Damage Prevention became my calling

 

If you would have asked me 15 years ago what I wanted to do and was working towards, Damage Prevention would have been the last thing I would have said.  I was studying constitutional law and theatre at a small private university in Indiana.  I had a 5 year plan that would take me through law school. However, life took a few surprise turns changing the carefully made plans over the following 4 years.  

 

Damage Prevention blog post

 

In February 2010, I started working for Underground Safety Alliance, the umbrella organization for Indiana811 and Kentucky811 as a Damage Prevention Specialist, taking one call tickets for homeowners and excavators.  At first it was just a “job” to make ends meet while I figured out what I wanted as a career.  Although I took every call seriously, my heart wasn’t in it. 

 

Change comes with a ring

Then I took a call that changed my life.  I had been at the call center for about a year.  “Thank you for calling 811. My name is Kristin, how may I help you?”

 

“We were digging and we hit a gas line,” said a terrified voice on the other end of the line. 

 

Processing a damage ticket wasn’t new, I had helped report numerous damages in that first year. Except the voice on the other side was scared and unsure, and there was an odd whooshing noise. This was not going to be a typical damage reporting call.    

 

It was two homeowners who had just hit a line, and were standing within feet of the blowing gas. At once I realized what the background noise was, even though I had never heard it before.  Immediately, I instructed them to move slowly away from the gas line, at least 100 feet.  The last thing these frightened people needed was a random spark igniting the gas filled air.  

 

After they were far enough away, I needed to calm them so we could continue and make not only them, but their neighborhood safe. The panicked edge in their voice took a couple of moments to reduce, but the moment it did, I asked if the homeowners had called 911.  Unfortunately they had not, so that was our first task to accomplish.  After having them confirm again that they were a safe distance away, the one person stayed on the phone with me while the other used their phone to contact the fire department.  

 

By this point the initial panic from both of the homeowners had receded. While one talked to emergency services and then the gas utility, the other one and I were able to complete the Damage Ticket. It has been a long time since that call, and while I don't remember if they had called to have the line marked before they started digging, that call stayed with me. It was the catalyst for my dedication to damage prevention. 

 

Damage Prevention-my passion!

 

Since that call I have been passionate about Damage Prevention. I threw my whole self into every phone call and resulting locate request.  I wanted to protect others from injury due to unsafe digging.  I learned everything I could about the 811 process. 

It wasn’t long until my superiors and others took notice of the dedication developing within me and I was given more opportunities to learn about damage prevention, advancing from taking tickets to working directly with the member utilities, learning every step of the way. Once I started working with the utilities is where I really found my stride.

 

I love helping utilities protect their facilities and keep job sites safe. Without those markings on the ground anyone who disturbs the dirt could get hurt, and I wanted to be a part of a solution that helps utilities get their locating accomplished.  That is how I ended up here at BOSS Solutions.  Now I am able to help provide support for the utilities to manage their one call tickets.  

  

I still adore learning more about damage prevention, and incorporating what I am learning into our BOSS811 solution.  I am committed to our customers and how we can partner together to minimize damages.  

 

Now if someone asks me what my calling is, the answer is easy: Damage Prevention!


 

BOSS Solutions is a proud partner in Damage Prevention

Demo Video BOSS811  Jan 2019

Watch our Short Video

 

About the Author:

Kristin Reed is a Senior Support Engineer with BOSS Solutions. Kristin has been part of the Damage Prevention Industry for 11 years. She is committed to helping utilities and locators protect their facilities and keeping excavators safe at the dig site.

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Did you know? Hitting an underground utility line can cause severe damage and result in fines for non compliance

 

811 Word Cloud 2

 

BOSS Solutions offers an easy and affordable damage prevention solution BOSS811 that helps you stay compliant and avoid hefty fines. Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County adapted  BOSS811 , a Cloud based One Call Ticket Management Solution for the Damage Prevention Industry to improve efficiency and stay compliant.

The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County (MAWC) is the largest public water provider in the State of Pennsylvania, with 2400 miles of water lines, 500 miles of wastewater lines, 3 Water Treatment Plants and 10 Wastewater Treatment Plants. The legacy 811 Ticket Management System used by MAWC could only be installed on the locator laptops, had no routing rules or automation and therefore provided a very limited role in their critical operations. MAWC wanted a ticket management solution that would improve efficiency and ensure compliance with the regulations of the Pennsylvania Utility Commission who were imposing fines on utility owners for noncompliance. MAWC did a thorough search and selected BOSS811 as their replacement Ticket Management Solution. The BOSS811 implementation was very successful with over 9000 tickets closed in the first 6 months of operation. BOSS811 dramatically improved and simplified workflows through automation and event logs, eliminated bottlenecks and allowed for retraining. BOSS was able to import data and attachments from the legacy 811 system making it part of the BOSS811 searchable repository that is instantly viewable by management.

“BOSS811 has set the bar that other software is compared to." Anthony Pologruto - GIS Analyst, Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, PA

View the BOSS811 webinar with Anthony and learn how MAWC improved efficiency and avoided fines

 

Major BOSS811 Features & Capabilities used by MAWC:

 Ability to load map services directly from the GIS Server which eliminates the need for paper maps and the “dig box” can be accurately located on the screen  Powerful Routing Engine with the ability to assign tickets based on ticket info or type, tag tickets, send desktop notifications, and assign based on dates and times  The ability to Auto Close tickets  Customized dashboard for each user with pre-defined or custom Widgets 

 Charting and reporting provide management with the capability to monitor workloads and performance  Ticket management with both list and map views provides for easy assignment, sorting and response  Advanced search with a very granular capability and the ability to export to CSV spreadsheets  The ability to add attachments to tickets including photos and videos that can be geo-tagged to show where they were taken  Ease of configuration due to intuitive design of Settings screen  Email notifications based on routing rules  The ability to easily create users and set roles and permissions  Mobile App for both iOS and Android with offline support in areas with no cell signal.  Sketching tools that provide the ability to add notation and comments to the uploaded photos.

Visit www.boss-solutions.com to learn more about BOSS811

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