You’ve likely noticed Singing River Electric’s crews in your community working on power lines and other electrical equipment. It’s no secret that a lineman’s job is tough, but it’s a job that is essential and must be done, often in challenging conditions. As we celebrate Lineman Appreciation Day on April 18, here are some interesting facts about electric lineworkers.
The work can be heavy in more ways than one. 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, they must climb poles ranging anywhere from 30 to 120 feet tall.
Linemen must be committed to their career––it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. 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 non-traditional hours outdoors in challenging conditions. A lineman’s job requires technical skills, years of training, and hands-on learning. Did you know that becoming a journeyman lineman can take more than 7,000 hours of training? That’s because working with high-voltage equipment requires specialized skills, experience, and ongoing mental toughness. Shortcuts are not an option, and there is no room for error in this line of work.
Despite the many challenges, Singing River Electric’s linemen are committed to powering our local community. During severe weather events that bring power outages, they are among the first ones called. They must be ready to leave the comfort of their homes and families unexpectedly, and they don’t return until the job is done, sometimes days later. Their families are also dedicated to service and understand the importance of this job to the community.
Nationwide, there are approximately 120,000 electric lineworkers. Singing River Electric has 81 linemen responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year. To do this, they maintain 7,000 miles of power lines across nine counties. In addition to the highly visible tasks they perform, their job today goes far beyond climbing utility poles to repair a wire. They are information experts who can pinpoint power outages from miles away. Line crews now use laptops, tablets, and other technologies to map outages, survey damage, and troubleshoot issues.
Being a lineman may not seem like a glamorous job, but the work they do is essential to our communities. Without the exceptional dedication and commitment of these hardworking men, we would not have the reliable electricity we need for everyday life.
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 power.
Singing River Electric has an 83-year heritage of providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our local communities where we call home. SRE serves more than 76,600 meters across 7,556 miles of power lines in seven counties in Mississippi (Jackson, George, Greene, Perry, Stone, Wayne and Harrison) and two counties in Alabama (Mobile and Washington). The electric distribution cooperative works with Cooperative Energy to provide its members a diverse mix of generation resources including five small-scale solar sites locally and a 540-acre solar site in Lamar County. For more information, follow our conversations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.