facilities

Mike Hoblin, NPS ESP Enrollee

Mike Hoblin rarely has a normal day in his position as Electrician Mentor at Grand Canyon National Park.  One day he might be taking a helicopter to check on an electrical issue, the next day he may travel by mule to work on fire and security alarms, and sometimes he may even drive to his work location.   

Mike spent most of his career with the National Park Service as an Electrician.  He came to the Grand Canyon after a stint at Yellowstone National Park.  His duties included installing electrical panels, maintaining security and fire alarms in the many government buildings throughout the parks, ordering parts and tools, mentoring new hires (including his son who now works at Grand Canyon), and even building new parts for some of their older system.  After he retired in 2019, he noticed that whenever he came to visit his son, they would get him in to pick his brain on the various systems.  Finally, NPS decided it would just be easier to bring Mike back to work through the Experienced Services Program.  Today Mike works 3 days a week assisting the Grand Canyon with preventative maintenance as well as troubleshooting and repairing the many electrical systems, fire alarm and fire security systems throughout the park. 

On a normal day, Mike works with fire and security alarm panels, trying to teach the newer Park employees how the systems are set up.  This includes the administrative part of the system as well as the central station that receives the alarms and dispatches the appropriate personnel.  Since he started in February 2022, he has already cleaned up many of the alarm panels that have been reporting false alarms and gotten other systems that were down up and working again.  One of the big problems is that the Park’s systems were installed over a period of many years, making it not only exceptionally large but also overwhelmingly complex.  Grand Canyon is lucky to have Mike because he is one of the few people who understand how all the various systems work together.  His years of experience make him invaluable to the Park. 

Although Mike is happy to be back at the Grand Canyon working on a part time basis with his former colleagues, he also enjoys the freedom he has as an enrollee.  Mike is active in his community with his church as well as the Boy Scouts.  He plays on a softball team, enjoys fishing, hunting, plinking, and pretty much any outdoor activity.  When we asked who he would invite to an imaginary campfire supper he had quite an eclectic list including his dad, who always loved and encouraged him and inspired Mike with his great work ethic, as well as his wife Sandy.  He would also include George S. Mike’s English teacher for 7th, 9th, 11th, and 12th grade, who told wild stories about his college days working in Yellowstone Park; Herb T, a Scout Master who taught Mike about the outdoors and told stories about World War II, Korea, and Vietnam; Arnold J. who he met in the 5th grade and has been friends with ever since; and finally Leroy S. who got Mike his first job in the National Park Service.