News & Updates

Thank a Lineman



Lineman

You've likely noticed Snapping Shoals EMC crews out and about, working on power lines and other electrical equipment in our community. It's no secret that a lineman's job is tough, but it's a job that is essential and must be done. Nationwide, there are approximately 120,000 electric lineworkers. April is national Lineman Appreciation Month but Snapping Shoals EMC's linemen are responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year to our members.

The work can be heavy, in more ways than one. 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. Linemen are required to climb poles ranging anywhere from 30 to 120 feet tall.

Linemen must be committed to their career because 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 in difficult weather conditions. 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 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, SSEMC'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 home and families unexpectedly, and they don't return until the job is done, often days later.

In addition to the highly visible tasks linemen perform, their job today goes far beyond climbing utility poles to repair a wire. Today's linemen can pinpoint power outages from miles away. Line crews now use laptops, tablets, and other technologies to map outages, survey damage and troubleshoot problems.

Linemen are essential to our community. Without the dedication and commitment of these hard-working men, we would not have the reliable electricity that we need for everyday life. So, the next time you see SSEMC linemen, please thank them for the work they do to keep power flowing, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions. After all, linemen are the power behind your power.