You likely have noticed Douglas Electric Cooperative crews working on power lines and other electrical equipment in our community.
A lineworker’s job is tough, but must be done. In honor of Lineworker Appreciation Day on Monday, April 11, I’d like to share some interesting facts.
Did you know the equipment and tools a lineworker carries while climbing a utility pole can weigh up to 50 pounds? That’s equivalent to six gallons of water. Speaking of poles, lineworkers must climb poles ranging from 30 to 120 feet tall. This isn’t a job for anyone with a fear of heights.
Lineworkers often work nontraditional hours outdoors under challenging conditions. This job doesn’t require a college degree, but it does require technical skills, years of training, and hands-on learning. Becoming a journeyman lineworker can take more than 7,000 hours of training, which adds up to about four years. That’s because working with high-voltage equipment requires skill, experience, and mental alertness. There is no room for error in this line of work.
Rain or shine, DEC lineworkers are committed to the job. When severe weather brings major power outages, lineworkers are among the first ones called. They must be ready to leave their homes and families unexpectedly and stay until the job is done, often days later. DEC has more than 35 employees responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year. To do this, they maintain 1,700 miles of power lines across three counties.
Being a lineworker requires more than just climbing utility poles to repair a wire. Our line crews now use laptops, drones, and other technologies to map outages, survey damage, and troubleshoot problems.
Being a lineworker may not seem like a glamorous job, but it is essential to the life of our community. Without the dedication and commitment of these hardworking individuals, we would not have the reliable electricity we need for everyday life.
The next time you see a lineworker, please thank him or her for the work they do to keep power flowing, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions. After all, lineworkers are the power behind your power. Please join us as we recognize them on April 11.