Glenn County: PG&E Lineman Wins National Public Service Award for 25 Years as Volunteer Firefighter
By Paul Moreno
ORLAND — PG&E lineman and Orland resident Jeff Gomes has worked in fierce storms, sweltering heat and the aftermath of wildfires to help restore power. But he also faces tough situations during his time off too — medical emergencies, fires, traffic collisions and rescues.
After more than 25 years as a volunteer firefighter and volunteering roughly 15,000 hours to the Orland Volunteer Fire Department, Gomes will receive a national honor in the form of the Jefferson Award for Public Service.
The Jefferson Awards for Public Service recognize people who go above and beyond in community service without any expectation of recognition or reward. The awards were established by the American Institute for Public Service. This year’s awards are June 16 in Washington, D.C.
In his service to the Orland Fire Department, Gomes has served as a fire chief for six years and assistant chief for four years. As a PG&E lineman, Gomes’ fire training and lineman expertise has been crucial to both his roles.
“PG&E and the fire service have encouraged me to help train linemen in fire safety and firefighters in gas and electric safety,” said Gomes, a PG&E employee for 26 years, most of them as a lineman. “Both services revolve around public safety and have helped me to help my fellow linemen and fellow firefighters.”
Additionally, Gomes recently received the Frederick W. Mielke Jr. award, the highest honor awarded to PG&E employees. Created in honor of the chairman and CEO of PG&E from 1979 to 1986, the annual Mielke Awards are given to PG&E employees who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to the communities where they live and work.
“Jeff is an extremely dedicated person who constantly demonstrates his commitment to his community through his tireless leadership efforts and always in a humble manner,” said Lee Woodson, PG&E electric distribution supervisor for Glenn County.