LONG DAY, NIGHT FOR CROWE WHEN ACCIDENT CUTS OFF POWER AT JAIL

14-year maintenance veteran played a key role in repair efforts that lasted till 3 in the morning. For his efforts, he’s been named Whitfield County Employee of the Month for March.

 

By MITCH TALLEY

Whitfield County Director of Communications

 

Billy Crowe

Working in the maintenance department at the Whitfield County Jail isn’t a 9-to-5 job.

Billy Crowe knows that first hand, but he’s not complaining.

In fact, on March 29, a backhoe operator hit one of the main power lines at the jail while working on a drainage problem, causing all of the power to be lost at the correctional center except for what the backup generator could provide.

The accident happened at 1:10 p.m.

Crowe and his partner responded quickly to the scene and determined what would be needed to make the repairs and restore power.  A local industrial supply house agreed to stay open late to make sure all of the parts would be available, and a local electrical contractor was called in to use his expertise in this type of problem to oversee the repairs.

A local industrial supply house agreed to stay open late to make sure all of the parts would be available, and a local electrical contractor was called in to use his expertise in this type of problem to oversee the repairs.

The work began by having to cut the destroyed 225-amp circuit breaker out of the switch box and then pulling out the old wire and replacing it with new wire. This process took a considerable amount of time.

“Billy was on the end of the wire feeding it into the conduit,” said Lt. Emmit Tate of the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office. “This is the important end of the wire because whoever feeds it into the conduit has to insure that the wire does not get skinned as it goes in. Billy fed all 360 feet of this wire into the conduit by himself. An officer had an inmate work crew out feeding Billy the wire as Billy fed it into the conduit. This was a tedious,  hard, and very exhausting job, but it was done without complaint.”

In fact, it was very late before any of the maintenance personnel got anything to eat for an evening meal, according to Tate.

Their efforts paid off when power was restored at 3 a.m., nearly 14 hours after the accident.

“By approximately 3:30, tools had been put up, doors locked up, and the generator had shut itself down,” Tate said. “The maintenance crew was then back at the jail by 8 a.m. for the beginning of their work shift.”

Throughout the month of March, Crowe also replaced all of the vent fan motors in the housing areas of the jail and is now working on the same in the rest of the jail.

“Billy is also on call every other week, which is more often than most county employees,” Tate said. “Billy is very good natured and gets along well with his co-workers.”

For those efforts, Tate successfully nominated Crowe for Whitfield County Employee of the Month for March. To help local residents get to know him better, Crowe filled out the following fun questionnaire.

Name: Billy Crowe

Job title: Maintenance

Time with the county: 14 years

Where I went to high school: Cedar Valley

My role as a county employee: Maintenance tech at Whitfield County Correctional Center

What keeps my job interesting: The people I work with

What gives me a sense of accomplishment on the job: Knowing it’s all done

Where I grew up: Whitfield County

Family: Wife Sherry Crowe, son Brian Crowe

After work, I enjoy: Spending time with my family and working on lawn mowers.

Favorite TV show: Westerns/Lonesome Dove

Favorite meal: Steak and potato

Favorite Whitfield County restaurant: Longhorn

Favorite Whitfield County event: Parade

You can pick anyone from any time in history to have dinner with – who would you pick? Johnny Cash and John Wayne

I’m most proud of: My son, Brian

Cats or dogs? Dogs (we have eight)

Cake or pie? Cheesecake/pineapple upside down cake

Favorite car? ’55 Chevy

Early riser or sleep-in? Both

Favorite vacation ever? Pigeon Forge with family

If I’ve learned one thing, it’s: Work hard

Who has had the most impact on my life: Steve Adams, Granny and Grandpa

If I could have two wishes, they would be: Be rich and live forever

You’d be surprised to learn that I: Enjoy hiking.

The best advice I ever got: To work hard at all I do.

Anything else you’d like to say: I enjoy working for Whitfield County!

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