You’ve likely noticed Southern Indiana Power’s crews out and about, working on power lines in our community. It’s no secret that a lineman’s job is tough — but it’s a job that’s essential and must be done. This month, as we celebrate Lineman Appreciation Day on April 11, I thought I’d share some interesting facts about electric lineman with you.
Did you know the equipment and tools that a lineman carries while climbing a utility pole can weigh up to 50 pounds? That’s the same as carrying six gallons of water. Speaking of utility poles, our linemen are required to climb poles ranging anywhere from 25 to 70 feet tall. Needless to say, if you have a fear of heights, this likely isn’t the career for you.
Lineman must be committed to their careers. The long hours and ever-present danger can truly take a toll. In fact, being a lineman is listed in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.
Linemen often work 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 that to become a journeyman lineman, it can take more than 8,000 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, Southern Indiana Power’s linemen are committed to powering our local community. During severe weather events that bring major power outages, linemen are among the first ones called. They must be ready to leave the comfort of their homes and families, and they don’t return until the job is done, often many hours later. That’s why the lineman’s family is also dedicated to service. Family members understand the importance of the job to the community.
Southern Indiana Power has 11 lineman and one meter technician who are responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year. To do this, they maintain over 1,600 miles of power lines across our territory. Today’s linemen are information experts who can pinpoint power outages from miles away. Line crews now use iPads and other technologies to map outages, survey damage and troubleshoot problems.
So, the next time you see a lineman, please thank him for the work he does to keep power flowing, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions. After all, linemen are the power behind your cooperative. Please join us as we celebrate them on April 11.