Why Basin? Fire scholar takes pride in protecting colleagues


When talking with Lee Westby, it isn’t tough to figure out he loves sports.

Off the clock, the Rapid City, SD, native is an active guy. And he’s someone who appreciates the idea of setting goals and reaching them through teamwork activities. Perhaps that’s why the folks at Dakota Gasification Company knew he’d be a good man to have around.

Westby started working for Dakota Gas, a subsidiary of Basin Electric, Nov. 3, 2013, as a protection services specialist.

Dealing mostly in fire prevention measures, Westby keeps things simple when he describes his new gig.

“We make sure that nothing bad happens here, and if it does, to be ready,” he says.

Westby graduated from Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City with an associate degree in fire science.

Since joining Dakota Gas, Westby has applied his knowledge and experience in many ways. Checking fire extinguishers, inspecting fire hydrants, examining sprinkler systems and tending to individual smoke and thermal detection systems are some of the things he does best, in the name of keeping those around him safe.

“I enjoy the people I work with,” he says. “My favorite part of this job would be knowing that, if someone needs you in any situation, you are here for them at their worst moment, ready to help.”

Westby also helps out with security efforts at Dakota Gas, as well as inspections for trucks dedicated to anything from anhydrous ammonia to dry fertilizer.

Basin Electric offers great benefits

Along with a job description he could get used to, Westby appreciates the appealing benefits package Basin Electric has to offer.

“They are great benefits – the best I’ve seen so far,” he says, adding the cooperative culture is one he is proud to be part of.

Learn and be part of Dakota Gas’ success story

He appreciates the ability to see firsthand what Dakota Gas does. Westby says he’s learning more about the many different functions there, such as the gasification process.

“I have learned the different ways things operate, and what we make out here,” he says. “It’s very interesting and cool how we can make multiple different products, all from coal and natural gas.”

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