Lineworker Appreciation Day

Utilities nationwide pay tribute to an overlooked profession

For folks who literally overlook their workspace, linemen and women are arguably one of the most overlooked professions in the industry. Consider that these workers are the ones who keep power lines running day and night, all while putting themselves in harm’s way. Lineworkers are the referees of utilities; they often only get attention when a mistake is made. It’s high time they get acknowledgment for the correct calls they make every single day.

(1) Electrical Apparatus on Twitter: “High praise! This week’s #LineworkerAppreciationDay sparked many utilities and #electric coops to show their gratitude for the front line teams. One example, from @VTElectricCoop …” / Twitter

While the actual day in question is disputed, the recognition is not. Most local co-ops celebrated their lineworkers this Monday, April 12th. Others have set aside specific days that are still to come. The date doesn’t matter; the following stories do:

In Colorado, women are the lineworkers taking the job to new heights, writes Mike Duran of Fox21News (Colorado Springs), who interviewed sisters Amelia and Jenna Miller, both students at Rocky Mountain Lineman School. Kudos to Mike for his pun prowess at the top of the accompanying video entitled “Line(wo)men training”.

Vermont Electric is honoring all its employees who work hard to keep the lights on: “Whether they’re restoring power after a major storm or maintaining the infrastructure critical to our electric system, lineworkers are key to the co-op,” said VEC Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Towne in a post on the company’s website Monday.

South Kentucky RECC celebrated the event as well, with a pointed nod to recent winter storms: the company is recognizing all electric linemen/women across the nation for the services they perform around the clock in dangerous conditions to keep the power on and protect the public’s safety. “Electric linemen are often overlooked as First Responders; however, they are on the front line and deserve much appreciation,” said Ken Simmons, South Kentucky RECC CEO. Not to be outdone, Western Kentucky’s Murray Ledger & Times offered a fact that adeptly encapsulates the job in a special article Monday:

“‘Lineworker’ is listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. WKRECC’s 24 lineworkers perform complex, detailed tasks near high-voltage power lines, high overhead, wearing 30+ pounds of gear. They work at all times of the day and night and in the worst weather conditions.”

Lineworkers in Holmes County, Ohio were honored this week as well.  “I can guarantee I am going to hear, ‘Let me run down the road and get one more tap on, because I know so and so lives there’,” Robyn Tate, Holmes-Wayne Electric community relations director, told Kevin Lynch of the Daily Record in Millersville, OH. “They’re sacrificing time from their families, holidays, kids’ baseball games.”

Major utilities are taking part, as well. Duke Energy stated it “celebrates the power behind the power” on National Lineworker Appreciation Day on April 18. The annual recognition spotlights lineworkers’ role in powering the lives of millions of people across the U.S.

Missouri lineworkers also received praise on Monday. It’s a state-by-state thing. “On April 12, we celebrate Missouri Lineworker Appreciation Day, honoring the critical work performed by electrical crews. Today, as millions of Missourians continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of some of the coldest weather we’ve ever seen, now more than ever, the work of our linemen and linewomen keeping our communities connected and powered is vital.”

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