Count On Us: Powered by William Hicks II & Consumers Energy

Full Name: William Hicks IIEmployee-Spotlight_6-21

Position: Meter Reader/ Volunteer Wire Guard

Service Length: 1.5 years

What is a wire guard?

A wire guard is the first responder to a downed wire. When a customer calls to report a downed wire in their neighborhood or backyard, we get dispatched. Wire guards are the first people on the scene to secure the wire.

What does it mean to secure the wire?

Securing the wire means we would locate the wire and assess potential hazards near the wire. We see if there are things, such as trees or fences, which can be energized from the wire touching it.

Then we set up a 20 foot parameter around the wire to secure. To secure it means that someone is there to make sure the wire is safe and secure until a lineman comes to reconnect the wire.

What does your average day/night of wire guarding look like?

To be honest, it’s kind of hard to tell what an average day will look like. You’ll never know if you’ll be outside in the country or maybe in the city. You just never know where you’re going to go so it’s all about coming prepared for anything. You never know where the wire is or what the hazards may be.

What motivates you to volunteer for this position?

The thing that motivates me the most is keeping not only my family safe, but our customers safe. I just think that if my mom or my wife called about a downed wire, I would want someone on the job to make sure the wire is secure because their safety is my number one concern. My family is all customers of Consumers Energy so I want to make sure they are safe.

What inspired you to get trained to be a volunteer wire guard in addition to your job?

Again, I volunteered to get trained as a wire guard in addition to my job because of the safety of our customers. We want to prevent all hazards.

What do you enjoy most about being a volunteer wire guard?

Aside from the safety of our customers, I enjoy meeting them. I’m a “people person” and love customer interaction. You never know what you’re going to experience or what you’re going to run into. The favorite question I always get asked is “when is my power going to be on.” I love that. I enjoy easing their fears and answering a lot of the questions they may have about what is going on.

What does reliability mean to you?

Reliability means just being there. Just simply being there when you call and being there until the job is done.

What does “Count on Us” mean to you?

When you call, we will answer. Whatever we can do as a company, count on us to be there until the job is done.

What makes our company unique?

That’s a good question. I think our company is the greatest. We have some of the best customers in the world and I think we provide an excellent service to all of our customers. I think we stand above the competition in providing the service to our customers. Just being there and being reliable makes us unique.

Describe yourself in three words.

I don’t think three words can even describe me honestly.

Tell us something on your bucket list.

I think I want to go skydiving. I think that would be pretty amazing. Am I going to do it? I don’t know yet.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

Be yourself. Be true to yourself and don’t try to be anyone else to fit or blend in. Be who you were created to be. Because the best you is the greatest you you will ever have.

What is your best joke?

I don’t know. I’m not a person who tells jokes. I’m more of a in-the-moment kind of guy with my punch lines.