You’ve likely noticed Lynches River’s 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’s essential and must be done, often in challenging conditions. This month, as we celebrate Lineman Appreciation Day on April 18, I want to share some interesting facts about electric linemen with you.
The work can be heavy, in more ways than one. The equipment and tools a lineman carries while climbing a utility pole can weigh up to 50 pounds. Linemen are required to climb poles ranging 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 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 and in difficult conditions. 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 lineman, it can take more than 7,000 hours of training. 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.
Despite the many challenges, Lynches River’s linemen are committed to powering our local community. During severe weather events that cause power outages, linemen are among the first 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 lineman’s family is also dedicated to service. They understand the importance of the job to the community.
Nationwide, there are approximately 120,000 electric linemen. Here in Chesterfield, Lancaster, and Kershaw counties, LREC has 22 linemen that are responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year. To do this, they maintain almost 3,000 miles of power lines across three counties, servicing about 22,000 active accounts. 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 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.
Being a lineman 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 would not have the reliable electricity that we need for everyday life.
So, the next time you see a lineman, thank them for the work they do to keep power flowing. After all, linemen are the power behind your power. Please join us as we recognize them on April 18 and follow “#ThankALineman” on social media to see how others are recognizing linemen.