Lineworker Appreciation Month: Honoring the Power Behind Your Power
Nearly everyone has experienced the dreaded crash of thunder before the lights go out — and the relief once the lights come back on.
In the darkness, what could be missed is the dedication, effort and energy from the lineworkers who are busily braving the elements to return power to your day.
You have likely noticed your local electric cooperative’s crews working on power lines and other electrical equipment in your community. They are also there when you do not see them — in inclement weather, in the middle of the night and anytime when needed, 24/7. Lineworkers perform an essential job, often in challenging conditions. The tools and equipment a lineworker needs to carry while climbing a pole can weigh up to 50 pounds — and that’s while scaling poles that can range from 30 to 120 feet tall!
During severe weather events, from blizzards to thunderstorms and many other emergencies, lineworkers are among the first people called to respond. They must be prepared to leave their homes and families unexpectedly and commit to restoring power, which can take days. They are also committed to serve during hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and other large-scale disasters. Line crews from states away will travel to devastated communities and help restore power. Lineworkers are at no shortage of memorable stories to tell — the jobs that were exceptionally difficult, the weather that was especially rough, and other unique occurrences that made it particularly arduous to restore service.
There are more than 120,000 lineworkers across the United States, and it takes more than 7,000 hours of unique training (about four years) to become a journeyman lineman. Working with high-voltage equipment requires specialized skills, experience and ongoing mental toughness. Lineworkers cannot take shortcuts, and there is no room for error in what they do, often in adverse conditions.
The next time you see a lineworker, please thank them for the work they do to keep the power flowing all day, every day. They live and work in your community and are among the people most committed to ensure that your town quickly overcomes severe weather impacts. They are the power behind the power you need to get through your day.