DTE Gas Dispatch Manager Mike Khoury knows a thing or two about crisis. Having worked for DTE for 22 years, he and his team respond to critical situations every day. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing safety while ensuring reliability remains most important.

Mike’s team, which consists of 23 dedicated employees, handles responding to gas-related calls.

Normally, customer calls range from meter inspections to something more critical like a gas leak. Dispatchers monitor calls as orders come in, and then allocate them to the gas field service teams all across the state.

“During this pandemic, we have cut back on a lot of what we term as non-critical work happening with Gas Dispatch and Gas Operations,” Mike said. “We are still doing emergency work – if you call in a gas leak today, we still dispatch crews immediately.”

When the pandemic was declared, Mike and his team quickly organized a plan of action which involved sequestering a team of dispatchers to work on-site. The dispatchers wear protective personal equipment (PPE) gear, including face masks and gloves to keep each other safe.

Members of the sequestered Gas Dispatch team have been staying in a specially-cleaned hotel near our company Headquarters and reporting to work at the office each day.

“We are a 24/7 operation, and that doesn’t stop now. The sequestered team stays isolated, and everyone at home is ‘on the bench,’ if you will, and they are expected to stay healthy and come in to relieve crew members as needed,” Mike said. “So far we have been able to do this with volunteers only. It is a testament to our people, who are dedicated to doing their jobs and this type of work.”

Safety continues to be the top priority for our team members across the company as well as for our customers. “When we get calls for emergency gas leaks, we dispatch crews and make sure DTE is there for you, addressing issues as quickly and safely as possible,” Mike said. “Crews are wearing PPE, including masks and gloves while out in the field. They may have to enter homes, even when customers are sick, to ensure customers are safe. There are a lot of heroes in our company who are incredibly focused and responsive.”

Aside from work, Mike is doing his best to look out for his family and community. “My number one priority is keeping employees and customers safe,” Mike said.