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The original item was published from 8/5/2022 1:20:27 PM to 9/16/2022 12:00:00 AM.

News Flash


Posted on: July 15, 2022


LCU Gas Crew

By Agenda Global 

Published in Las Cruces Bulletin on 7/15/2022

I tagged along with LCU Natural Gas Compliance Inspector Ruben Garcia to witness a day in the life of a LCU natural gas crew member. Garcia is well versed in the work of natural gas utilities with many years in the welding industry prior to his 10 years working at LCU. 

Before the sun rises over the Organ Mountains, each crew member checks in and makes sure they are fully up to code with the personal protection equipment (PPE) required by New Mexico Code. The PPE requirements include a hard hat, steel-toed boots, a safety vest, and other items depending on the daily job assignments. The crew members also wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and some sort of covering on their face to protect from the harsh rays of the sun.

Not only are the LCU gas crews out in the summer heat, but they work in all weather conditions, from rain to wind, hail, snowstorms, and the famous southern New Mexico dust storms. Besides the changing outdoor conditions, LCU natural gas crews also have to be aware of wildlife, neighborhood dogs, construction crews, and residents. 

One natural gas crew member told a story on how a large dog came out of nowhere and tried to attack the crew on one of their job sites. The reaction of the crew was not just to keep them safe, but make sure no harm came to the dog as well. In the end all was well, but dangers like this happen weekly to LCU team members in the field. 

“We are the hidden people behind the scenes when it comes to public safety, fire safety, and being the first responders to most gas leaks,” Garcia stated while talking fire safety. “Most of the time it is our guy down in the hole in a flash suit and oxygen mask fixing the leak,” Garcia concluded.

Not only is safety a priority at LCU for the community, but the crews must go through physical tests to confirm they are fit enough to be able to withstand the stress that comes with fixing a gas leak in a flash suit. All LCU welders must re-certify every six months to be able to maintain their position. These certifications are only passible with a 100% score on their written and practical tests. With over 65 recertifications, most LCU natural gas crew members stay busy when they are not out on the field by keeping up their qualifications and skills. Every LCU crew member I encountered was happy to be there and extremely welcoming while showing me their day-to-day work life.

“We have great benefits, opportunity to grow, and a fulfilling job here at LCU. I never thought my career would have gone in the direction it has taken me, but I have been extremely happy every step of the way,” Garcia ended. 

 LCU – Your Utility Connection. Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe, and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more at: 

For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.


PHOTO 1: LCU staff working on an extension of a natural gas line-Courtesy LCU

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