Clay Martin: Radio Room Dispatcher

Worked at Louisville Water since 2008

Louisville Water employee Clay MartinWe didn’t have to go far to find a Louisville Water employee to recognize during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. You’ll find dispatcher Clay Martin in Louisville Water’s Radio Room.

Martin will tell you, he got a late start with the water company. In 2008, he was looking for a job, when Leak Survey Technician, Mark Martin (no relation), told him about an opening in the Radio Room.

“God kept me unemployed for a year so I would appreciate that shift when I got it,” Martin said.

Coincidentally, during the application process, Martin soon realized he had another connection at Louisville Water. His fifth grade classmate, Harold Hunt, is the Supervisor of Distribution Operations.

Martin never imagined, “33 years later, I’m sitting in front of him in a job interview thinking he’s not gonna (give me this job).”

But he did get the job and will celebrate 15 years at Louisville Water later this year.

Martin paid his dues on second shift for many years.

“It’s a hard shift to get your head around because every Friday, you’ve gotta show up here at 3:00 in the afternoon. After 6:00 at night, you are the customer service center. There’s no going to dinner. You have to know how to do everything. You are definitely a traffic cop,” he said.

Martin recently returned to first shift, working Tuesday through Saturday. Working the weekend requires a variety of skills.

“If I’m here on Saturday morning at 7:00, I’m the planning department. I’m the metering services department. Any meter readers that are here working, if they have any problems, they’re gonna call me. You’re all things to all people.”

In 15 years, Martin is someone his co-workers have come to rely on.

“I take pride in Nate (Frederick, a Field Customer Service Representative) calling me ‘Clutch’. I’ve answered the phone and the person on the other end says, ‘Thank God it’s you’, because they have faith and confidence that you’re gonna help them out of whatever situation they’re in.”

Part of Martin’s expertise comes from his dispatch experience with General Electric, his first job out of college. He also served in the military.

“I was a certified Russian linguist in the United States Army.” While he never actually spent time in Russia, his stint in the Army played a role when he pursued his Master’s Degree of Business Administration in Russian. A degree partially possible because of Louisville Water’s tuition assistance program.

“You had to get As and Bs. Talk about motivation to study and get a good grade. It’s because I had a 1,500 dollar bill hanging over my head every 11 weeks,” said Martin.

Another learning curve for Martin has been taking care of his nephews, now 19 and 23.

“My brother had a brain injury so we moved them to Louisville. The four of us bought a house together.”

Martin’s twin brother passed away in 2021.

Clay Martin“Ray and I were three minutes apart. I had to go from consoling these two inside of my own grief. So it’s been a tough couple years. I’m not their father. I’m trying to be their uncle and their mentor, whatever I can be. We’re pretty tight.”

Tight-knit similar to his work family.

Martin said, “If I didn’t like the people I work with, I don’t know if I’d have made it 15 years.”

He’s hoping for a little more free time this year to ride his motorcycle, play guitar, and get in a few rounds of golf.