The devastating news of the wildfires in the Boulder, Colorado area dominated the news the past few weeks.

Fueled by winds more than 100 miles per hour, an estimated 1,000 structures were lost and nearly 13,000 Xcel Energy gas customers lost service.

Approximately 400 service technicians responded to the call for Mutual Aid assistance, representing companies and states from as far away as North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.

Kansas Gas Service also answered the call for help, sending a dozen employees, including 10 Field Operations service techs, one Field Operations supervisor and one ES&H coordinator. When these employees heard the request, workers quickly said goodbye to their families on a holiday weekend to travel to an unknown situation many hours away.

Service Technicians

The field techs provided relight services and assessment assistance to some of the affected Xcel customers. The employees departed Kansas the morning of New Year’s Eve and returned safely to Kansas on Jan. 5.

“I am proud to work with this team as they contribute to the safety of the residents of Boulder and make the situation a little better for those who lost so much,” said Sean Postlethwait, vice president of Operations for Kansas Gas Service. “Their immediate response models the message of our ONE Gas Core Values of Safety and Service. Great job — I appreciate all the hard work this team has accomplished and contributed this past week.”

Brandon Dills, ES&H Coordinator for Kansas Gas Service, said the employees were appreciated and valued for their commitment to service and helping the residents of Boulder. 

“These employees showed they are as well trained as anybody in the country,” said Brandon. “Even beyond just basic knowledge, their ability to evaluate a problem and create solid, common-sense solutions proved to be a great asset.”