Behind the Minds of the Electric Line
Electric line workers have extremely dangerous jobs. When there is an outage, they brave the elements and all sorts of hazards to restore power to our homes and businesses. It’s a job they take seriously and do with great pride. In honor of National Lineman Appreciation Day on April 18, we asked our City Utilities’ linemen what is the one thing they would like our customers to know about their jobs. Here are a few responses we got back.
During an Outage
A lineman’s top priority is restoring power to customers as fast and efficiently as possible. You will not find one of our guys that does not feel that way. When there is a widespread electric outage, customers tend to frequently stop to ask when power will be restored. While we do not mind answering those questions, taking our attention from the task at hand slows the process and can be dangerous. We would ask that customers trust that we are doing all we can to get the lights back on. If anything, the time to talk with us is when the power is restored to say “thank you”. Although we do not expect this, there is nothing more satisfying than the lights coming on and our customers appreciating it.
Like all of us, we have families and we want to go home to them when the job is done. Safety will not be compromised in order to restore power. With that said, safe doesn’t always mean fast. We have safety practices and steps we have to follow. There are no shortcuts.
Obstacles are just that—Obstacles to Power Being Restored
Any obstacle that is hindering access will slow down a restoration and is a safety hazard. The most common obstacles include sheds, fences, locked gates, trees, brushes, signs on poles, and dogs. If you have a utility pole or ground-mounted transformer on your property or in your backyard, please consider the accessibility of this equipment and keep the area around it clear.
Buried Powerline Considerations
As you might expect, it’s harder to fix a problem that we can’t see. This is often the case with buried powerlines. If you live in a neighborhood with buried powerlines, keep in mind that it may take more time to find the issue and fix it during an outage.
Please do not plant bushes, trees, or other plants near ground-mounted transformers. Not only is it incredibly dangerous, we don’t like being the bad guys and taking out your carefully planted landscaping in order to ensure electric reliability and safety.
In honor of National Lineman Appreciation Day on April 18, we pause to thank the dedicated folks who work hard every day to keep our lights on. So if you see a lineman, #ThankALineman.