Warm-hearted Mike defers retirement to support gas emergency service

Mike Aldridge

Two warm-hearted chaps have deferred their retirement dates to help energy network Cadent’s gas emergency service during the coronavirus crisis.

The North West’s gas emergency team is a vital service, with hundreds of engineers on standby 24/7 to get to reports of smells of gas or suspected carbon monoxide incidents.

First-call operatives (FCO) Mike Aldridge and Alan Brown are both 58 and due to retire this year after over 80 years’ service between them – but have decided to keep on working instead.

“We don’t know how many of our engineers this will impact, so it just didn’t seem right me going ahead with retirement,” said Mike, who covers a patch including Tameside, Stockport, and High Peak.

“Also, if I did retire, I’d probably just be at home, self-isolating, so I’d much rather be out there – as long as I am fit and healthy – keeping myself busy and helping customers keep safe.”

Extra precautions are now being taken during the Covid-19 outbreak to ensure that if an engineer needs to enter a property, both he/she and the occupants are kept safe.

Jenny Moten, Director of Cadent’s North West network, said: “I’m immensely proud of Mike and Alan – what an amazing decision to volunteer to defer retirement as we all rise to the challenge of dealing with an unprecedented situation. It’s indicative of the spirit shown by everyone at Cadent.

“We continue to maintain an essential service, keeping gas flowing to keep people warm in their homes, hospitals and other buildings.

"We also continue to provide that ‘peace of mind’ service, with engineers here, ready to respond straight away, if there’s a gas emergency to respond to.

"The team is working around the clock to do just that and I am proud of every one of them.”

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