EMPLOYEE FEATURE: PAT HINTON
In his 23 years with Western States, Pat Hinton has seen it all.
Pat, the CRS Lead Technician at our Twin Falls store, started his career with Western States when the rental store first opened there 23 years ago.Before joining Western States, Pat worked for the local highway district.
“My PSSR told me Western States was opening up a rental store, and I told him that was crazy!” he said. There were only small, “mom-and-pop” rental stores in Twin Falls at the time. However, despite his initial doubt, Pat joined the CRS team and never left.
At the time, the Twin Falls store serviced locations as far away as western Montana and eastern Idaho. As a field technician, Pat put in a lot of miles behind the windshield and loved the time he spent travelling our territory.
Pat also gave perspective on how Western States’ view on safety has changed over two decades.
“We had a safety culture, but it wasn’t like it is today,” he said, “I think safety has come leaps and bounds since I started here, and it’s only getting better. We stumble, but we learn from our mistakes, and I think we do a good job of learning from our mistakes”.
Looking back on his career, Pat talked about the importance of mentoring new hires, especially when it comes to safety.
“You see the actions that new hires will sometimes take, and you think back and remember when you were there,” Pat said, “It’s up to us tenured people to help them get into a safety mindset. People can’t learn unless we show them. It’s our responsibility as leads, as managers, as supervisors.”
Pat first joined the Western States team because of the camaraderie he saw between coworkers. Since then, he says, the sense of community and support is what’s kept him here.
“There’s a spot for everybody. If your passion is turning wrenches, there’s a job. If it’s being a salesman or counter man, or working in admin, there’s a job for you,” he said.