Very few of us can imagine the horror and terror of waking to a house fire. Nobody should have to. And especially, nobody should have to on the weekends. Says PP&L.
In a city where just a few years ago a firefighter died because of electrocution, we just witnessed a family lose a home that could’ve seen less damage had the electric company arrived earlier. It took them an hour. Scranton’s Fire Department made it in five minutes. It became too unsafe for them to continue battleing the blaze inside the home because the electricity wasn’t cut off.
According to PPL, excpecting them to show up any sooner isn’t really reasonable because they, of course, defended their response time. The poor guys. They did the best they could.
Here’s the money quote: “Given the circumstances of it being a weekend with limited personnel on hand, we feel that it was a reasonable amount of time for us to approach the scene,” said Rich Beasley, spokesman for PPL Electric Utilities, adding PPL trucks are bound by traffic laws, such as stop signs, speed limits and traffic lights.
Ah, yes. It was a weekend! People are off. Relaxing with their families. And, hell, if we paid overtime, that would really break the bank, right? And there’s traffic and stop signs. Don’t forget those excellent excuses!
This past August, PP&L jack up their rates. They admit they are understaffed — and their union concurs — but why put that extra money they demand into hiring people?
PPL stock rewards shareholders quarterly with a .37 per share dividend. The magnates-that-be could lower that dividend and hire a few more workers. Or pay overtime. I know it’ll stop stimulating the pockets of people well-off enough to have stock, but the trade-off is that it will stimulate job growth and response times.
The Scranton Times points out that there may be regulatory change to prevent this kind of thing in the future. It’s coming from the state because PPL is currently distracted by their fantastic getaway to the Land of Corporate Immunity from All Negligence — you might recognized it as the place where American banks that wrecked our economy vacation year-round. What do these people do there? They pat themselves on the back over and over, ad infinitum, and say, “We did a great job despite all of the odds!”
Because they are the real victims here, right?
If anybody wants to support the Shafer family, who lost their home and did not have insurance, there will be a fundraiser at Haggerty’s in West Side on Saturday, February 1st from 7-10 PM. I hope to see you there.