Message for You...

As I sit here this morning working on this article, we find ourselves once again preparing to deal with a second major event in a month.  Hurricane Florence created some significant challenges for us given the duration of the storm.  At the height of Florence, almost 46,000 of our members were without power.  That’s 75% of our total membership.  Heavy rains, relentless winds, flooding and fallen trees slowed our restoration efforts but we still had everyone that could receive power reconnected within a week.

The thing that I am most proud of with Hurricane Florence restoration efforts and our planning efforts for dealing with Hurricane Michael is our approach to these events with safety as our first order of concern.  Safety is not just a major weather event focus but rather is a day to day point of emphasis for us.

As part of a nationwide network of cooperatives, Lumbee River EMC participates in a highly structured peer evaluation of organizational safety performance called the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program (RESAP).  This strenuous evaluation is done by outside professionals that come into the cooperative and evaluate 17 different focus areas.  Focus areas are evaluated by 185 specific questions covering everything from employee knowledge of safety rules and regulations to the condition and maintenance schedule and records of our equipment.  The RESAP evaluation occurs every 3 years and is unannounced.  Being unannounced, the evaluators are able to make an accurate assessment of the true safety culture at the cooperative.

The RESAP team recently visited Lumbee River EMC to evaluate our safety culture and performance.   I am happy to say that our overall performance was very good.  We exceeded expectations in 9 or the 17 performance sections.  Of the remaining 8 sections, Lumbee River scored satisfactory in 3 and generally satisfactory in the remaining 5.  There was no key attention areas identified requiring immediate improvement.  While this is a very good rating, we are already challenging ourselves to improve even more in the areas that were satisfactory while maintaining the performance level in the areas we exceeded.

This level of performance is not accomplished without a focused effort by every single employee at Lumbee River EMC.  I am extremely proud of the contribution that each and every employee makes to ensure the safety not just of ourselves but of the membership as a whole.  By staying focused on safety, we all win.  We are able to control costs that impact rates paid by our members.  Employees are able to go home every day to their family and friends, many who are also members.  Safety—one way to enhance the quality of life for all and the communities in which we live.

Message from Your CEO - November 2018 SHunt_sign.png Carmen E. Dietrich, President & CEO