Spotlight on Line Trade: Eric Galloway of Salt River Project

Nov. 30, 2017
Eric Galloway
  • Born in Montrose, Colorado
  • Married for six years to his wife, Katie, and has two sons, Jack and Wyatt, and a daughter named Ella.
  • Enjoys spending time with his family, watching his sons’ T-ball games and swimming.
  • Can’t live without his climbing tools, hot sticks and his coworkers.

Early Years
My step dad worked for Arizona Public Service and encouraged me to get into the trade. When I was 20 years old, I started out as a line clearance/tree trimmer. It was always my ultimate
goal to enter the apprenticeship program and become a lineman. I worked as an apprentice for Local 769, and after I topped out as a journeyman, I traveled around to work. After
about six years, I was tired of being on the road and decided to work for Salt River Project.

Day in the Life
I am a journeyman lineman. I work on a crew with four other linemen, and we get along great. Three of us have known each other for a long time, and I was in the apprenticeship program with the foreman and one of the other linemen. While we are always on call for storm work, our main responsibility is to change out distribution poles. We often work on easements, and we do a lot of climbing on a daily basis.

Safety Lesson
At Salt River Project, safety is huge for everyone. Up to this point in my career, I have done everything correctly and have not been involved in any major accidents. Since I work in Arizona, I make sure I stay hydrated and wear long-sleeved flame-retardant shirts and pants to protect myself from arc flash hazards.

Rodeo Camaraderie
I love going to the International Lineman’s Rodeo because of all the pride that everyone has in the trade. It is like being a kid at LEGOLAND.

Memorable Storm
After Hurricane Ike, I traveled down to Louisiana to help to restore power. We were working in Whiskey Bay, out in the swamp. We rode on a fan boat out to the different poles, and we then had to climb out of the boat onto a pole. A local lineman we were working with said if we smelled anything that stunk like a rotten egg, it meant there were water moccasins nearby. We saw a lot of snakes and alligators in the water. Thankfully, everyone stayed safe.

Helicopter Work
On a 230-kV reconductoring job in the San Francisco Bay Area, we flew underneath a helicopter and worked off a long line. We took a jet boat from the harbor out to a barge in the middle of the bay. The helicopter then picked us up and took us to the towers in the middle of the water. Of all the jobs I have done, I consider it my favorite. Flying in every day and being on the water in the jet boat was so exciting, and I couldn’t believe I was getting paid to do it.

Life as a Lineman
Being a lineman is the best job in the world. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. For someone who came right out of high school with no college education, it’s the best career going.

Future of Line Work
Electricity is something that we can’t live without, especially in this technology-driven day and age. I believe that ensures the line trade will be strong forever. Salt River Project has a great line apprentice program. As a journeyman lineman, it is my job to help form, educate and train our apprentices. It is up to the seasoned journeyman to teach and hand down the traditions and knowledge of the line trade to keep it moving forward in the right direction. 

Do you know of a lineman who we could profile in a future Life Line department? If so, please email T&D World Field Editor Amy Fischbach at [email protected].

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