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Central Alabama Electric Cooperative Distribution System Operator in PRATTVILLE, Alabama

Distribution System Operator

Distribution System Operators (DSOs) play critical roles in ensuring the safe and reliable delivery of electric power to our members and broadband service to our Central Access, Inc. customers.

Once the successful candidates have completed their initial training period, they will enter a rotating shift, which may cover all times of the day and night hours, including weekdays and weekends. A shift differential is applied to all scheduled hours extending beyond CAECs normal operating hours. All schedules are subject to change depending on weather conditions and staffing needs.

The DSO monitors the electric outage management system (OMS), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, and fiber/broadband system for outages; makes decisions and, after conferring with Senior DSO or qualified Engineering and Operations personnel, takes action on OMS and SCADA systems; routes orders to field personnel; relays system information; monitors progress and safety; and responds directly to customer queries. This position is based primarily out of the Prattville Headquarters Office but may report to either Operations Center during storms and unusual weather conditions and may be subject to work (long- or short-term) at any Central Alabama Electric Cooperative (CAEC) service center, as needed. Normal shifts may include one or more of the following: weekdays, weekends, overnight hours, and holidays.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Supports restoration efforts by responding to outages and faults, identifying possible locations of the outage, and operating voice communication equipment to assist in the coordination of field personnel, relaying any known information about the outage, including information from SCADA to appropriate personnel, dispatching crews to make repairs, and keeping consumers informed about the status of the outage.
  • Ensures that outages are closed in a timely manner in the OMS system with accurate restoration time and cause codes.
  • Analyzes fiber outage data captured through the fiber system software and maps to be able to notify the appropriate personnel.
  • Monitors communication via two-way radio, telephone, and Interactive Voice Response (IVR); OMS, SCADA, customer information systems, building or grounds, security cameras, and security controls. Notifies the appropriate personnel regarding any issues that may arise and provides reports on electric and fiber/broadband outages, accidents or injuries, and any other emergencies.
  • Responsible for initiating the automated call-out system to request additional personnel when needed or as instructed.
  • Monitors the Cooperative\'s distribution system in real-time, using the SCADA system to identify and/or independently take action on potential issues or problems that could affect the reliability or safety of the system and notifies the appropriate personnel.
  • In accordance with proper qualifications and training, independently or as directed by qualified personnel, operates SCADA equipment (i.e., opening and closing \"A\" switches and breakers).
  • Maintains various records and logs as required by departmental oroperating procedures, including the opening and closing of A switches and Hot Line tags and the location of field personnel.
  • Monitors the disconnect list for non-payment.
  • Initiates and routes electric, fiber, and broadband service orders to the appropriate field personnel utilizing the customer information and mobile service order systems; processes service orders and reviews previously closed service orders for quality control purposes.
  • Monitors phone and email queues and responds timely to customer and employee inquiries related to electric and broadband accounts during or after business hours.
  • Effectively utilizes the customer information system to make customer information changes and update account and service order information.
  • When concluding a shift in which the shift immediately following will be covered by a third-party after-hours service, verifies all communication lines (800 outage line, Maxwell/Gunter, and EMA line) are properly transferred to the after-hours service.
  • Responsible for the creation and distribution of the weekly on-call schedule.
  • Participates in the Dispatch after-hours on-call rotation.


High school diploma or equivalent, with three to four years of dispatching experience in Electric and Fiber Operations required.

Distribution System Operator Certification and/or equivalent experience preferred.

Must be able to successfully complete both modules one and two of the system operator certification program and other ongoing regular training. Must gain an advanced understanding of the subject matter and demonstrate the ability to provide effective training to others in the subject, including but not limited to training CSR Dispatchers in Distribution System Operations.

Must be able to analyze situations, troubleshoot, and apply sound judgement in performing position responsibilities.

Must be knowledgeable in all activities and with equipment utilized in the construction, maintenance, and operation of electric distribution lines, fiber distribution lines, and broadband service equipment.

Must have familiarity with RUS construction specifications, National Electric Safety Code (NESC), and OSHA rules and regulations.

Must be able to work (long- or short-term) at any one of the following locations: Prattville Headquarters Office; East Operations Center (EOC) in Titus, AL; West Operations Center (WOC) in Verbena, AL; Clanton, Rockford, or Wetumpka Service Centers.

Must be able to work any or all of the following shifts: weekdays, weekends, overnight hours, and holidays.

Must be able to perform duties independently while working alone outside normal working hours.

Must be able to work calmly and effectively in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment. Requires the ability to act quickly and calmly in emergencies and to give and follow complex written and oral directions in exact detail.

Must be able to operate a personal computer and perform tedious visual tasks for extended periods of time.

Must be able to organize, prioritize tasks and complete all assignments accurately and with attention to detail. Must maintain confidentiality with sensitive information.

Must be able to interact well with internal and external customers, handling inquiries and/or responding to requests.

Must maintain a positive working relationship with field and office personnel and continuously display a positive attitude when interacting with internal and external customers, regardless of the temperament of the customer; thus, always representing CAEC in a professional manner.

Maintains thorough working knowledge of Cooperative Bylaws, policies, procedures, safety manual, and CAEC/Central Access, Inc. system and service territory.

Should have a thorough knowledge of first aid applications, CPR, and rescue procedures.

Must be familiar with CAEC mayday and other emergency procedures and successfully complete each training mayday exercise when presented.

Must have a working knowledge of software applications pertinent to the Cooperative\'s system and/or Microsoft programs.

Must be able to attend periodic seminars, training programs, conferences, and civic and professional events.

This position requires the availability of the employee during bad weather or unusual conditions at all times of any day and night to assist in the restoration of service during system outages and emergencies. Will be in the rotation as the first person called to work during non-business hours.

Must hold a valid Al