It’s no secret that a lineworker’s job is tough—but it’s a job that’s essential and must be done, often in challenging conditions.
Little River Electric has 18 lineworkers who are responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year. To do this, they maintain 2,100 miles of power lines across four counties.
You’ve likely noticed Little River Electric’s crews out and about, working on power lines and other electrical equipment in our community. This month, as Little River Electric celebrates Lineworker Appreciation Day on April 11, here are some interesting facts about electric lineworkers.
In addition to the highly visible tasks lineworkers perform, their job today goes far beyond climbing utility poles to repair a wire. Today’s lineworkers are information experts who can pinpoint power outages from miles away. Line crews now use laptops, tablets, drones, and other technologies to map outages, survey damage, and troubleshoot problems.
The work can be heavy, in more ways than one. The equipment and tools that a lineworker carries while climbing a utility pole can weigh up to 50 pounds, the same as carrying six gallons of water. Lineworkers are required to climb poles ranging from 30 to 120 feet tall.
While the job does not require a college degree, it does require technical skills, years of training, and hands-on learning. To become a journeyman lineworker, it can take more than 7,000 hours of training (or about four years). That’s because working with high-voltage equipment requires specialized skills, experience, and mental toughness. Shortcuts are not an option, and there is no room for error in this line of work.
Lineworkers must be committed to their careers—because it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. Lineworkers often work nontraditional hours, outdoors and in difficult conditions. In fact, being a lineworker is among the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.
Despite the many challenges, Little River Electric’s lineworkers are committed to powering our local community. During severe weather events that cause major power outages, lineworkers 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, often days later. That’s why the lineworker’s family is also dedicated to service. They understand the importance of the job to the community.
Being a lineworker may not seem like a glamorous job, but it is essential to the life of our community. Without the exceptional dedication and commitment of these hardworking individuals, we simply would not have the reliable electricity that we need for everyday life.