Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 11
You have likely noticed 4 River Electric’s crews out and about, working on power lines and other electrical equipment in our community. It’s no secret that a lineworker’s job is tough — but it’s a job that’s essential and often must be done in challenging conditions.
This month, as we celebrate Lineworker Appreciation Day on April 11, I want to share some interesting facts about electric lineworkers with you. The work can be heavy, in more ways than one. Did you know the equipment and tools that a lineworker carries while climbing a utility pole can weigh up to 50 pounds? That’s the same as carrying 6 gallons of water.
Lineworkers must climb utility poles ranging from 30 to 120 feet tall. Needless to say, if you have a fear of heights, this likely isn’t the career path for you. Lineworkers must be committed to their career — because it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. Long hours and ever-present danger can take a toll. In fact, being a lineworker is listed in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Lineworkers often work non-traditional hours outdoors in difficult conditions.
While the job does not require a college degree, it does require technical skills, years of training and hands-on learning. Did you know becoming a journeyman lineworker can take more than 7,000 hours of training (or about four years)? That’s because working with high-voltage equipment requires specialized skills, experience and an ongoing mental toughness. Shortcuts are not an option, and there is no room for error in this line of work.
Despite the many challenges, 4 River Electric’s lineworkers are committed to powering our local community. During severe weather events that bring major power outages, lineworkers are among the first ones called. They must be ready to leave the comfort of their home and families unexpectedly, and they don’t return until the job is done, often days later. That’s why the lineworker’s family is also dedicated to service. They understand the importance of the job to the community.
Nationwide, there are approximately 120,000 electric lineworkers. Here at 4 Rivers, we have 20 lineworkers responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year. To do this, they maintain the equipment and lines delivering power to around 12,500 service locations across 16 counties.
In addition to the highly visible tasks lineworkers perform, their job today goes far beyond climbing utility poles to repair wire. Today’s lineworkers are information experts who pinpoint power outages from miles away. Line crews use laptops, tablets, drones and other technology to map outages, survey damage and troubleshoot problems.
Being a lineworker may not seem glamorous, but it is essential to life in our community. Without the exceptional dedication and commitment of these hardworking people, we would not have the reliable electricity that we need for everyday life. When you see a lineworker, please thank them for the work they do to keep power flowing at all times and in all weather conditions. After all, lineworkers are the power behind your power.
Please join us as we recognize them this month and follow #ThankALineworker on social media to see how others are recognizing lineworkers.
Mark Doebele, Assistant GM/COO