“While You Were Sleeping”: CPS Energy worker burns midnight oil to keep repair crews on the road

Staton Wiedner maintains, repairs fleet of thousands of vehicles

San Antonio, Texas – The phrase, “power outage,” is enough to cause anyone to break out in a sweat, and during summer in San Antonio, that can happen in more ways than one.

When the electricity goes out, it’s up to crews with CPS energy to head out and fix the problem, day or night.

Sometimes, though, those crews end up needing help themselves while out in the field.

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Staton Wiedner, a journeyman mechanic, is one of several employees of the utility company who answer the call from them.

“We go out on, basically, anything from a blown tire or somebody stuck in the air in a bucket truck,” he said.

Wiedner has worked for CPS Energy for the past ten years, often fixing those problems in the middle of the night.

“Sometimes we're on the side of the freeway and it's very unsafe,” he said. “So we try to get them out of harm's way as quickly as possible.”

A state law enacted September 1 also helps.

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It adds utility workers to the list of first responders that drivers should steer clear of or slow down when passing.

At times, the job can have Wiedner working to steer one of the company’s King Kong-style wreckers through small or dangerous places.

It’s part of the big response to problems involving super-sized vehicles.

“We would use this to pull trucks out of harm's way,” Wiedner explained.

When he’s not heading out to help a stranded crew, Wiedner spends time inside one of CPS Energy’s garages, maintaining a fleet of thousands of vehicles.

He charged with checking them from end to end, as well as everything in between.

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“We know that we're helping out everybody in the public by keeping these trucks on the road,” he said, proudly.

It’s a powerful job that soemtimes has him losing sleep.

About the Author:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.