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A local gas industry manager is celebrating after clocking up 40 years of service in the sector.

Kingsbury Episcopi’s Stephen Pitman is a senior manager at gas emergency and pipeline service Wales & West Utilities.

He started work as an apprentice in the gas industry in 1976 at the age of 17. Stephen transferred to Wales & West Utilities when the company was formed in 2005 and plays a key role in the company’s operations across the south west of England.  

Stephen, Wales & West Utilities’ Area Engineering Manager for South West England is based in Bridgwater and leads the company’s Build & Repair teams that maintain existing gas equipment and lay new gas supply pipes to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.

Stephen, originally from Exmouth in Devon and age 57 said:

“I’m delighted to have reached such a milestone in my career. On a daily basis I work alongside my team to make sure that homes and businesses across south west England continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply – and that we deliver the outstanding levels of service our customers expect.

“It really doesn’t seem like 40 years have passed since I started working – but on the other hand, the change in the industry has been dramatic, particularly with the equipment we use. A gas engineer in 2016 is just as likely to use a smartphone as a shovel! But our priorities have always been the same – keeping the gas flowing, our customers and colleagues safe and make sure our costs and contribution to our customers’ bills is as low as possible.”

“Forty years is a long career but I still enjoy it as much as I ever did – and I’m not ready to give up just yet!”

Wales & West Utilities Director of Operations Andrew Hopkins added:

“Stephen is an essential member of our team, not just in South West England but also bringing his vast experience to bear on challenges we face right across our network. We’re proud of the work he does to keep the communities we serve safe and warm – and we’re glad that he’ll be with us for a little while yet, passing his experience on to our managers of the future. I’d like to congratulate him on reaching a significant milestone and thank him for his continued hard work.”

Wales & West Utilities has a team of more than 1000 trained and experienced engineers to help serve the 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales that rely on its gas emergency and pipeline services. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night.