Saving life’s a gas for Kevin

Gas engineer Kevin Conner
Gas engineer Kevin Conner
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QUICK-THINKING gas engineer Kevin Conner has been praised by bosses after tackling a potentially- dangerous leak.

Kevin, 49, faced a “true test of skill and nerve” after being called out to a report of a strong smell of gas in Shotton.

The Northern Gas Network worker immediately began to test for possible leaks and pinpointed a house with a massive reading coming from it.

When no one answered at the house, Kevin knew he had to act quickly. He called the police and fire brigade to gain access to the property and at once started to disconnect the gas supply from the outside.

He said: “Our top priority is to protect life and property so it was essential to work fast and get the gas switched off.”

Kevin, who has eight years’ experience with the company, knew the danger was not over until he had ventilated the property.

He said: “When the fire brigade arrived we agreed on the need to act swiftly and they decided to get inside the property by taking out a window.

“One of the firemen was clearly affected by the strong smell of gas as they took the window out and they put breathing apparatus on before going inside.”

The firemen worked with Kevin and opened doors and windows to allow the gas to safely disperse.

Kevin was a miner at Easington Colliery until 1993 when he retrained as a gas engineer and eventually joined Northern Gas Network in 2003.

He said: “We never take chances with gas safety and as the readings were so high, there was no time to delay.”

After the property was ventilated, Kevin spoke to the householder on the phone.

He said: “He was relieved it was just a window that needed repairing and nothing more serious I think.

“I advised him to call a Gas Safe-registered engineer to check out the property’s gas appliances and then get the supply switched back on. He was glad he and his partner were at work when it happened.”

Richard Hynes-Cooper, Northern Gas Networks area operations manager, said: “This was a true test of skill and nerve. We’re proud of Kevin’s quick-thinking.

“His actions helped bring the situation under control without incident.”

But modest Kevin, of Wheatley Hill, denied being a hero, saying: “It’s just the job I do.”