Richard Hobson has over 40 years of experience in the utility industry. Prior to working with EPP, Richard worked for Baltimore Gas and Electric, a Fortune 500 electric and gas utility based in Baltimore, MD. He joined BGE in December 1970 as a meter reader and worked as a drafter and a computer programmer until completing his studies in engineering. From 1981 to 2000 he served in various engineering and leadership capacities in energy engineering and conservation research project management. From November 2000 until his retirement in June 2011 he was responsible for all aspects associated with the design, planning and implementation of storm restoration, emergency response preparedness, plans, drills and training.
Richard joined the Electric Distribution area of BGE in November 2000. His assignment in Electric Distribution was to document the newly developed Severe-Impact Storm (SIS) Plan. The plan was a collection of more than 20 separate plan documents with hundreds of checklists and job descriptions. Richard pulled this collection of documents together into one common framework and posted the entire plan on the Corporate Intranet. He moved all the Emergency Response Plan parts into the newly created BGE Storm Center SharePoint site. This plan was enhanced and updated following every drill and every major storm. This site today houses all material for responding to General Storms and Severe-Impact Storms. In addition, this site houses all emergency response training material (references, slide shows, videos, etc.) and all drill material. This site is maintained real-time and is updated as changes are needed.
During Richard’s 10 years in the organization, his group took on the responsibility to update and maintain the General Storm procedures as well. These documents, like the SIS Plan were completely rewritten, reformatted and posted on the BGE SharePoint site.
His group was also responsible for storm/emergency response training. The group wrote the training material and provided training classes for all major job functions for emergency response. As BGE acquired a new Outage Management System in 2003 and a new Mobile Dispatch System in 2004 training of these systems was also incorporated in the training programs. General Storm training was conducted during March – June each year and Severe-Impact storm training was conducted in the July – September timeframes. Classes included: Introduction of Storms, Storm Center and Regional Command Center Management, Outage Management System Basics, Mobile Dispatch System Basics, and a host of other job specific functional / hands-on classes. This also included training for all storm related computer applications (Outage Management System, Mobile Dispatch System and Mobile Data Terminals), storm leadership positions (Storm Director, Field Operations Director, etc.), storm center support functions (OMS Analyst, Mobilization Coordinators, Loop and Patrol Dispatchers) and the field positions of Patroller and Public Safety Standby. Other more unique positions specific to severe storms are also part of that list. Early in 2003 training consisted of slide presentations and limited hands-on training of the computer applications. As technologies improved, so did the methods of training. Prior to his retirement, Richard had converted many of the training modules to interactive computer based training modules with online testing to verify the student’s understanding of the material.
Richard was the single point-of-contact for all mutual assistance activities and requests for BGE during his tenure. He was part of the Mid-Atlantic Mutual Assistance (MAMA) group which was formed in 2000 and was instrumental in helping the group develop its mutual assistance agreement and guiding principles. He was also a member of the Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE) Mutual Assistance Committee and was part of the team that wrote its Mutual Assistance Agreement and Guiding Principles. In addition he was part of the Edison Electric Institute Mutual Assistance Committee and assisted the writing of its recent Guiding Principles in 2006. It was the practice of the mutual assistance groups that any utility that felt it was in danger of significant damage due to storms would request mutual assistance conference calls to discuss the availability of resources and how each was being or would be impacted. From 2003 until June 2010 Mr. Hobson participated in dozens and dozens of mutual assistance conference calls he had either initiated or had been initiated by another requesting company.
Richard also oversaw the organization responsible for the weather consulting contracts of Electric Operations. His group was responsible for monitoring the weather 365 days a year and requesting internal conference calls to discuss weather threats whenever a pre-determined threshold threat was met. As more data was gathered over the years the group was able to refine these threat levels based on these forecasts.
Finally, his group was responsible for the readiness of the storm center. The group maintained all computer operating systems and the materials necessary for working in the storm center and for those being deployed as standby and patrol personnel.