You’ve likely noticed South Central Indiana REMC’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. As we celebrate National Lineman Appreciation Day on April 18th, we wanted to share some interesting facts about electric linemen.
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 6 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 require a lot of dedication and expertise to perform the work safely, especially when working at night in harsh weather. In fact, being a lineman is listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.
Linemen often work non-traditional hours outdoors under challenging conditions. Being a lineman requires a high degree of technical skills, years of training, and hands-on learning. Did you know that becoming a journeyman lineman requires more than 7,000 hours of hands-on training (or about four years)? 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, SCI REMC’s linemen are committed to powering our local communities. During severe weather events that bring major power outages, linemen are usually 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. That’s why the lineman’s family is also dedicated to service. They understand the importance of the job to the community.
South Central Indiana, SCI REMC has 31 linemen that are responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year. To do this, they maintain nearly 3,900 miles of power lines across 7 counties. In addition to the highly visible tasks linemen perform, their job today goes far beyond climbing utility poles to repairing a wire. Today’s linemen also use laptops, tablets, and other technology to obtain work, pinpoint outage locations, troubleshoot, and much more.
Next time you see a lineman, 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.