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Thread: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

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    Senior Member scap's Avatar
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    Default Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    Was just curious what it was like in other places around our nation? The way your pagers are divided when on-call time comes, do you have areas that have their own pager that the guys of that area swap around, that nobody ever beeps; compared to an area with a pager that alot of other guys share, that beeps constantly?..But with all of them working out of the same office...? When you look at things like this, it's almost like in some places that are getting hit harder than others, one group of guys could constantly suffer from a pager that goes off almost every night of the week twice. Whereas, some places have softer beepers where the beeper absolutely never goes off, that doesn't even bother their guys.

    First idea that comes to mind is to have a universal beeper. To add guys to the rotation that, normally never get beeped from their own beeper. To let them have a taste of pain for a few days. The sign on the wall when you walk in says 'Teamwork', what I just described is the very definition of it.
    "The truth is rarely pure and never simple"-Oscar Wilde

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    in our office here............we rotate ....everyone in the office gets a full week of on-call....all areas that we cover out of this office are included for your week.....
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    We have areas divided by counties and by after hour call volume. Some guys cover 1 county. Some cover 5. The guys in the busier counties pick days. The guys in the slower counties rotate every week. We also have a few rural areas where guys have volunteered to be on call all the time. I get to cover 5 counties on call. Most of the time I have fewer callouts then the busier counties. It just takes longer because I have to drive farther. Get paid the same though.

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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    We always had one on-call for the Supervisor areas. Sometimes this was done by the week basis, and at one time of another we actually did it nightly (new person every night) with one person taking the weekend (Fri., Sat., Sun.) by rotation. It worked awesome.

    And yes, some Supervisor areas got hit harder than ours , and vice-versa, but honestly we usually only handled it in the "CREW AREA". IMO sending a locator from one crew to another crews area for on-call is asking for disaster.

    #1 - usually locators live NEAR their crews geographic area, meaning if you have to go to another area it's going to take longer to get there (we have 2 hrs. to respond to an emergency here)

    #2 - usually a locator is at least moderately familiar with his particular crews area (finding addresses, facility reps if needed, etc), throwing him/her into a new area at 3am with no clue? bad idea.

    #3 - frankly in my experience many of the on-call pages I got were from contractors needing clarification or remarks of another locators work. It was bad enough cleaning up someones goof from my own crew (where I KNEW they would be held accountable one way or another), I'd be damned and go to hell before I had to go fix shoddy work performed by a locator on another crew when I had no idea if they would be held accountable. (We had alot of crews in our office like that, didn't give a crap for the most part, there to draw a paycheck for doing as little as possible, etc)

    Basically I'm saying On-Call sucks for everyone, it's just part of the job. But, when you start trying to "spread the wealth" all you really do is multiply the misery for everyone.
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

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    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by RD_Wrangler View Post
    We always had one on-call for the Supervisor areas. Sometimes this was done by the week basis, and at one time of another we actually did it nightly (new person every night) with one person taking the weekend (Fri., Sat., Sun.) by rotation. It worked awesome.
    Each team has their own system. My team's on-call is never brutal. We take 2 nights together during the week and by rotation take the week end.

    The Kansas City Metro Squad is an animal all it's own. It's a 9-way area. The on-call duty for this team is brutal. The utility infrastructure there is over a hundred years old and is prone to many problems. All nighters are common on weekdays as well as all day long and into the night during weekends in the summer. These boys take on-call one day at a time and the guy on for Friday also takes Saturday. There are no prints for the street lights (these are owned by the City and is separate billed from power). The CATV, telephone and power prints of this area can be a challenge, even for a seasoned veteran. I, and 3 other vets, have in the past stepped up to help when needed to give our Metro Squad brothers a break. Those were times when I would rather have been spanked than respond to the call, but handled the challenge anyway.

    ------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Wingfoot; February 9th, 2009 at 12:44 AM.

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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    We basically cover a geographic area relevant to our staffing and # of tickets. That being said, older areas, like near downtown Dallas have a lot more water breaks than the newer suburbs. In the rural areas, there are less calls but more area to cover.
    Several groups still do a week at a time but others have switched to a rotation similar to Wing's. I prefer a different person each night of the week-Mon thru Thur- and then 1 person taking it Fri. Sat and Sun. It personally doesn't bother me to lose sleep 1 night during the week.
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    Senior Member scap's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wingfoot View Post
    Each team has their own system. My team's on-call is never brutal. We take 2 nights together during the week and by rotation take the week end.

    The Kansas City Metro Squad is an animal all it's own. It's a 9-way area. The on-call duty for this team is brutal. The utility infrastructure there is over a hundred years old and is prone to many problems. All nighters are common on weekdays as well as all day long and into the night during weekends in the summer. These boys take on-call one day at a time and the guy on for Friday also takes Saturday. There are no prints for the street lights (these are owned by the City and is separate billed from power). The CATV, telephone and power prints of this area can be a challenge, even for a seasoned veteran. I, and 3 other vets, have in the past stepped up to help when needed to give our Metro Squad brothers a break. Those were times when I would rather have been spanked than respond to the call, but handled the challenge anyway.

    ------------------------------------------


    yeah!

    I want to locate some streetlights, with no prints, in the dark...
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    Senior Member scap's Avatar
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    Default

    It's not that big of a pain in the ass in the worst areas here. I've heard horror stories of a buddy having to locate 2 900s, a triple duct run, and all other kinds of shit at 2:15 am.

    Most of the times I've ever been paged, it was to a very, very old part of town where a water main busted. Most of it is aerial.

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    Mke
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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    Right now my on call status is 24-7-365, but if i'm out of town I toss my pager to my co-worker for however long i'm gone.( this hasn't actually happened yet)

    The Job before I was in a small office which was part of a bigger office and we were supposed to cover both counties. It was a given that when the smaller office was on call we would have to travel down to the other county for emergencies. Like wise, when the bigger office was on call they would have to come up to our area for emergencies. We finally learned just to call each other depending where the emergency was. No need to drive 45min for a non locate @2 in the morning just because you are not familiar with the area.

    Now however, I may not get Emergency call all that often, but I have drop of the hat night closures that I'll have to pull my 8hr shift sleep for a few hours and be back at 11:30 to 5:30 to preform locates in restricted areas. thank goodnes for head lamps and spotlights on trucks. After the night closure we usually get the next day off though, to recoup.

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    Senior Member RD_Wrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by scap View Post
    It's not that big of a pain in the ass in the worst areas here. I've heard horror stories of a buddy having to locate 2 900s, a triple duct run, and all other kinds of shit at 2:15 am.

    Most of the times I've ever been paged, it was to a very, very old part of town where a water main busted. Most of it is aerial.
    Christmas Day night, downtown, coldest one in 50 years, 17 water main breaks, 3 of which near HP Manholes.

    Ever try locating in 20 below weather in a MH with WATER running in on you from the leak?

    After I made it through that night everything else in this business was GRAVY. LOL!
    Character is what you are in the dark. It is the things you do, when nobody can see, and nobody will ever know, that define who you are as an individual.

    "Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

    Per Scientiam Vires!

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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    SCAP, you still use pagers? Isn't it a hassle to make sure the right guy gets the pager every night or every week? Doesn't anyone else just use their cell phones?

    Every where I worked it was very simple. On-call started Friday night and went until the next Friday morning. Anyone on-call for what ever areas had their names and phone numbers (cell and home) sent to dispatch the Thursday before. Most areas had a rotation of 4 to 5 guys so it wasn't that bad to be on-call 1 out of 4 or 5 weeks, and the schedule was always done for 2 to 3 months out so if a guy needed to change he had plenty of time to do it.

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    Senior Member phoenix827's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    Walk, We have pagers here as well, but I am lucky, they don't work for me! lol
    In over 2 years, I think I got 3 pages. My sup paged me one day sitting right next to me and I didn't get it, put it in his truck and it worked fine!
    We rotate for a week @ a time as well, but I LIKE the 1 day a week idea!!!!

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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    Quote Originally Posted by yahoo View Post
    in our office here............we rotate ....everyone in the office gets a full week of on-call....all areas that we cover out of this office are included for your week.....
    We do it the same way here in the Coast. We all get to work all the ares (when on-call) no pager, just a phone # and it gets call forwarded to the tech. on-call.

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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    it's all good bring it on...............time and half pay for the time you leave your house to the time you get back to your house...........i love it
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Senior Member beyond help's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does one on-call area get hit harder than others, for you guys?

    The worst I've ever had it was 40 calls in one day, 125 in one week. I'd say the worst call was a water main break next to a CO (15 duct runs) in front of an electric substation (11 duct runs), and several gas mains. All at 130 in the morning.
    STRESS: The confusion created when one's mind overrides the body's basic desire to choke the living daylights out of some idiot who desperately deserves it.

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