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A family where safety always comes first

Longstanding commitment: Belco has a long history of delivering safe and reliable power throughout the island (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A few months ago there was a gathering of Bermudians at an event recognising long-service employees — persons who had served one particular company for a range of between ten and 50 years.

Yes, shockingly, there are people who have worked at a singular job for 40 to 50 years, the majority of their lives.

You ask, which company could this be?

In this instance, the establishment that has always had multiple generations of loyal employees would be none other than our sole power provider, the Bermuda Electric Light Company — more affectionately known as Belco.

A few days ago, Bermuda witnessed a demonstration by young students speaking to the need for us, as a country, to be more proactive about alternative energy. This echoes the words and concerns of many, both near and far, about sources of energy production.

Rightly so, people should want to have more environmentally friendly power. Yet, what no Bermudian household or business entity has had to be worried about is having a reliable source of electricity.

For more than 100 years, Belco has been consistent in its delivery of safe and reliable power to business and residences throughout this beautiful country of ours.

This can happen only by having knowledgeable professionals who have dedicated their lives to learning their respective crafts to maintain a near 100 per cent reliability rate. Apart from high winds causing wires to come down, or the occasional damage from hurricanes, Bermudians have not had to worry about if they will be without electricity.

This is accomplished through the constant professional development of hundreds of Belco employees.

Employees with a wide range of skill sets as listed here:

• Diesel mechanics

• Instrument repair technicians

• Electricians

• Plant technicians

• Overhead linemen

• Underground cable specialists

• Network operators

• Dispatchers

• Accountants

• Human resource specialists

• IT specialists

• Welders

• Carpenters

• Joint specialists

• Engineers

• Cooks

• System operators

• Truck drivers

• Warehouse logistics

• Environmental and safety inspectors

• Administration

• Marketing

• Meter reading

• Customer support agents

You see, on a daily basis these persons, with wide ranges of profession, work together in harmony to ensure that, first and foremost, safety is Job No 1. After that, all else is carried out.

When you have people who have worked together for decades, day and night, they can no longer see themselves simply as co-workers. Essentially, they have become a family. A family who want to first ensure the wellbeing of one another; second, to ensure that every customer, whether large or small, has their needs and concerns met.

The Belco family actually perform at their very best when this country is facing the worst in the aftermath of major storms or hurricanes. When others are heading home, this Belco family are heading to 27 Serpentine Road to organise and mobilise island-wide restoration operations.

This is why the island is always back up and running in short order.

Like all other families, there will be times when members have disagreements, yet they will never jeopardise their safety or the reliability of energy supply to the customers.

To my Belco brothers and sisters of near 30 years, every day that I walk through those gates at 27 Serpentine Road, I am so proud to see how we have progressed in our professions over the decades. It goes beyond saying that I am honoured to call you my family.

In upcoming articles, we will discuss the different aspects of how energy is created and distributed, our steps towards alternative energy and all of the related support services along the way that ensure that when you flick your light switch or turn on your air conditioner, you are not disappointed.

Indeed, at Belco safety is Job No 1.

Christopher Famous is a government backbencher and the MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at cfamous@plp.bm