April 12: ‘Thank a Line Worker’

If you were asked to associate an image or a person with our electric co-op, I bet you would picture a line technician. One of the most visible co-op employees, these folks work tirelessly to ensure our community receives power, 24/7.

“Line worker” is listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. This is understandable as they perform detailed tasks near high-voltage power lines. Our line technicians undergo extensive training and follow numerous protocols to ensure safety as they work to maintain our lines and restore power, often in very treacherous conditions.

As you can imagine, being a line technician is not a glamorous or easy profession. Regardless of the time of day or hazardous weather conditions, line techs must sometimes climb 40 feet in the air, often carrying heavy equipment to get the job done.  The ongoing pandemic added another hazardous factor to an already risky job, but that did not stop them from rising to the challenge.

In addition to years of specialized training, this job requires dedication, as well as a sense of service and commitment. How else can you explain the willingness to leave the comfort of your home to restore power in difficult conditions? This is truly what sets them apart.

In addition to serving their own communities, our crew also answer the call  to provide aid across the state and nation following major storms and other times of need.

While line techs may be the most visible, it’s also worth noting that there is a team of highly skilled professionals that support their efforts behind the scenes. Engineers provide ongoing expertise and guidance on the operations side of the co-op. Member service representatives are always standing by to take your calls and questions. Our information technology experts are continuously monitoring our system to help safeguard sensitive data.

Our dedicated and beloved line techs are proud to represent our co-op, and they deserve all the appreciation and accolades that come their way on line worker Appreciation Day, April 12.  Today, please join me and the rest of the co-op team by taking the time to thank them for their exceptional service.

- Jimmy Liverman is Roanoke Electric Co-op’s vice-president of operations.