Appreciate Your Local Linemen

Appreciate Your Local Linemen

Chris Reed joined HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative in 1988 as an apprentice lineman. After becoming a lineman, he became a crew leader, then Portland operations coordinator, and in 2015 he was named director of electric operations. He's shown with his daughters, Holly, left, and Grace.

When I was asked to write about Linemen Appreciation Day 2017, I thought of different ways to approach this. There are so many aspects to this line of work; it’s difficult to choose.

I think the best way I can honor all of the linemen I have had the privilege of working with, as well as linemen all across the country, is to help you all learn a little bit about what it is we do. If you’ve noticed, I don’t say what we do every day because every day is different.

That is one of the many things I loved about line work; there really is no average day.  People often say “you’re so lucky, you get to work outside in the beautiful weather.” What they don’t think about is that we are also outside in the worst weather!  

Don’t get me wrong, we know going into this work what we will be exposed to, and we welcome it as part of the challenge.

Oddly enough, many of my fondest memories are of storm restoration work. Working as a team with the skilled crews that make up our Blanchard and Portland line departments, to restore power to our members in all conditions, is more rewarding than I could ever express.  

Whether a lineman is wading through waist deep snow, chest deep water, or thorn bushes over his head (usually in the dark of night!), his goal is to restore power to our members. Sometimes it means missing anniversaries, birthdays, even Christmas - and those missed holidays we never get back.  

So the next time Mother Nature leaves you without power and you’re missing the big game on TV, please take a moment to think of those linemen out there and what it is they might be missing to get your lights back on.

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