Two Gardner electric employees, Josh Smith and Dylan Irby, recently helped with hurricane relief restoring electrical power in Orlando, Fla. Photo courtesy of the City of Gardner

Two employees from the city’s electric division traveled to Florida to assist in hurricane relief efforts.
Josh Smith, lead electric lineman, and Dylan Irby, apprentice electric lineman, joined crews from other Kansas municipalities to aid communities in need of power restoration. During their 12 day stay, they worked with various teams to restore power to more than 135,000 electric customers
“The city is part of the Mutual Aid Program with KMU,” said Daneeka Marshall-Oquendo, Gardner public information officer. “All incurred costs (labor, meals, equipment and hotel accommodations) are recovered through FEMA.” Electric crews worked from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, and Orlando Utility bused the crews back and forth from the hotel to the electric shop where the bucket trucks were parked. Meals were provided by Orlando Utility.
“It was truly a humbling experience working with other electric line crews from across the United States to serve those in need,” said Smith. “The gratitude we received from the residents of Orlando as we got their lights back on was also very humbling. “