Jim Fielding

May 1, 2012
  • Born in Waco, Texas.

  • Married to Sarah for 39 years and has two children, Jami and Trey, and four grandchildren, Madylin, Jace, Emery and Laken.
  • Enjoys being outside, doing competitive bass fishing, racing cars, serving as a track chaplain at the Heart of Texas Speedway and being involved in the church. He raced for 14 years and was a five-state champion 10 years in a row.
  • Describes himself as honest, caring, dependable and versatile.
  • Can't live without his laptop, his truck and his test equipment, such as a current voltage recorder, amp meter and volt meter. His service territory has a lot of trees, so he also depends on his long pole saw and chain saw to restore power quickly.
  • Inspired by God and his family. He considers himself a public servant and gets a lot of satisfaction from helping people.

Early Years

I went to work for Oncor when I was 19 years old and grew to love it. I came from a family of custom home builders, and I've always enjoyed working with my hands.

My first job was as a hole digger operating a pole setter. I had a probation time of about three months to see if I would make it in the utility industry. I then graduated into linemen training and became a senior lineman in 1977. From that point, I became a serviceman and troubleshooter. I answered trouble calls and lights-out calls and then served as part of the restoration effort during storms.

Day in the Life

I've worked for Oncor for more than 38 years. My current title is distribution operations technician (DOT) lead.

On a typical day, I am responsible for more than 100 distribution feeders. I also manage the vegetation management budget and maintain all the feeders. There are six other technicians in my group, and we all work together. Because I'm an outside DOT, I can go outdoors to help the linemen. It's a challenge, and I really enjoy it.

My team soon will be working on a project to update the downtown distribution system in Waco, Texas. It will be fun to take an old system and bring it up to the latest technology.

Advanced Meter Technology

Oncor is in the process of deploying advanced meters to its customers. During the deployment, I was responsible for installing the radios and routers that collected data from the advanced meters; that process took about three or four months.

So far, we have gotten good response from our customers. All of our automated equipment is working and the reliability is high.

Now our customers are able to go online and get information about their peak usage. With the interfacing of AMR and OMS, we are able to get outage information from the customer. Through pulse-closing technology on the switches, we can get the lights on before the customer even calls us.

Safety Lesson

In 1982, I received a flash burn from a lightning arrester. I was running some jumpers and the lightning arrestor faulted, resulting in a phase-to-phase flash. Back then, I wore a T-shirt and my sunglasses to work instead of all the personal protective equipment we have today. I tried to block my face with my arms, but I still received burns to my chest, face and my forearms. I had the chance to really think about safety during the time I was in the hospital recovering.

I'm now a safety champion. I'm concerned about my fellow workers and don't want them to go through the same thing that I did. We have weekly safety meetings, and we read about incidents and accidents. At Oncor, safety is first and foremost. We are our brother's keeper, and we watch out for each other. We want everyone to go home to their families in the same condition that they came to work.

Memorable Storm

In 2005, I worked on restoring power following Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. There were a lot of trees down, and we helped to rebuild the lines.

When it comes to storm restoration, my company is second to none. I get a feeling of satisfaction, and I'm very proud to be part of that. When we roll into these towns for storm restoration, we have that kind of reputation.

Career-Defining Moment

When they offered me the lead DOT job, it was one of the most exciting times in my career. The technology and automation was right up my alley. I thought I could make a bigger impact in this position than a lineman building lines.

Future Plans

As for the future, I want to use any technology I can to improve our system and increase reliability.

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