Manager’s Message – March 2024

We Put People First at NWCPUD

People first.

It is the foundation of our mission. It is the guiding principle behind our employment culture at Northern Wasco County PUD (NWCPUD). It is the standard driving our emergency response protocols, including our communications with the community.

People first.

Here is where it gets complicated. We had an outage on February 1, which we now know happened when a contractor working for another agency made contact with the PUD’s energized line. The PUD was neither involved in the work nor even aware any work was being performed near our lines.

Shortly after, we learned someone at the job site was hurt, but we had little other information. We operate under the premise that inaccurate information can be more damaging than no information. In addition, when a person is reported to be injured, even if not a PUD worker, we want to be respectful and protect and support any accident victim and their family.

The value of a smaller community and friendly staff is that many folks want to immediately know if their friend, co-worker or loved one was the person injured; the status of the power restoration; or likely, both. To maintain integrity as a reliable source of information for our community, we only share what we know to be accurate information and when we know it.

People first.

“People first” has its own priority list. I am writing this to share our emergency communication protocols. Some will agree and some will not, but we hope you understand the facts better now. We are here to serve our community, and sometimes that means some people first, others second, and some when time and information allow. It is not always easy, but it is necessary.

People first.

As I reflect, we have a lot to be thankful for. I am thankful the PUD family immediately banded together to offer support and gather information. I’m thankful to be part of an organization that cares so deeply for each other and our community. I know we did what we needed to do, when we needed to do it, and we did it well based on the best available information at the time.

I want to express appreciation for the support and patience of our community during crisis events and thank you for the prayers and positive thoughts for the injured worker.

People first. It is, and always will be, the best we can do.

Cyndi Gentry
Corporate Services Director