Blog 5 – What I Did For My Internship Hannah Pittman

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The internship that I’ve gone through this summer with Dodge City Inspections has been an experience that I won’t forget anytime soon! My favorite part of the internship would be all the new relationships I’ve gained with the community, citizens and local contractors. The first hand experience of following the inspectors around and learning what their job entails has been invaluable. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many of the local firefighters at DCFD, as well as some of our city leaders and officers. I’ve learned another side of the building trade that I did not get to experience going through the DC3 tech program and it has given me the opportunity to zone in on the side of building that I really enjoy. While we strive to have good relationships with the local contractors there are still days that you have to deal with irate people. This internship has given me the skills to de-escalate a situation and find a resolution to a conflict. We focused mostly on performing successful building code inspections. This involves performing deck inspections on roofs, electrical inspections, foundation inspections, HVAC system inspections, and many more. We also completed permit evaluations on home additions, decks, fences, etc. The main challenges for these often were property lines, and working with the homeowners to show them how to be code compliant in their building as well as occasionally having a language barrier. Another portion of my time was devoted to helping Eric Pyle, one of our code enforcement officers with city Ordinance Inspections. This entailed driving around the city looking for violations such as tall grass over 1 foot, junk or debris in the yard, expired vehicle tags, or vehicles parked in the grass. The city will send out a letter of notification after the first violation letting the homeowner or the renter know about the violation and most of the time it is quickly resolved. Occasionally multiple letters are sent and eventually a citation. This would mean that the homeowner would have to come into the office to go to court. One of the largest challenges in the City ordinance inspections was when we had to deal with the trailer house communities. Occasionally we would get a trailer community where the renters could not afford to mow their grass but the lot owners did not want the responsibility of the upkeep. This was a task Eric K. Pyle often had to deal with and find a resolution to. I feel like I have achieved all three of my goals. The first one being better written Communication with the city ordinance violations. On my city ordinance inspections I go through a list of properties to look through and will write down any more violations that I notice driving around town. This has been a good system that Eric Pile and I have worked out. My next goal was better verbal communication specifically with the contractors in Dodge City. This internship has really made me come out of my shell. I’ve gained great relationships with many of the contractors around town, and have learned that good communication is the best way to be successful while running an inspection. My last goal for this internship was to perform an inspection by myself. I have achieved this goal as well! My first inspection by myself was performed on a plumbing rough-in, and gas test. This involves making sure that plumbing of the house was to code, and that the gas line was pressurized to 20 pounds. This internship was a great opportunity with on the job training that I’ll be able to take with me to my future jobs and career.