Team members go above and beyond – and below – for safety in the community

When the Emergency Care Health Organization (ECHO) called out for help, team members answered.

Team members install traffic posts along the ECHO storefront to protect people on the sidewalk from cars.

Team members install traffic posts along the ECHO storefront to protect people on the sidewalk from cars.

ECHO, a nonprofit organization based in Brandon, Fla., provides food, clothing, household items and other things to people who recently have experienced an emergency. In addition to welcoming donations and help from volunteers daily, ECHO holds thrift sales two Saturdays each month. With its main entrance just a couple feet from the parking lot, ECHO was concerned that vehicles could pose a danger to people coming and going on foot.

“When we found out about ECHO’s need, TECO team members put the wheels in motion to help,” said Hugh MacFarlane, region operations manager with Peoples Gas West Operations Support.

In May, MacFarlane enlisted the aid of utility technicians James Henderson and Dustin Donahoo and Rick Scalf, senior utility technician. They dug holes in the parking lot and installed cement posts along ECHO’s storefront to create a protective barrier against traffic.

“Rick scheduled a quick response from our team, and James and Dustin performed the work professionally and quickly,” MacFarlane said. “This one project could save thousands of dollars in damages – and most important of all, it could save lives.”

Among those who agreed with MacFarlane’s assessment was Gene Edwards, a 20-year volunteer with ECHO and a retired TECO team member.

“It does my heart good to see that TECO not only talks the talk, but walks the walk in their commitment to the community,” Edwards said.

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