- Born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
- Married to Tiffany, and has a seven-year-old daughter, named Teagan, and a three-year-old son named Jase.
- Is the first in his family to work in the power industry.
- Enjoys traveling, skiing, camping, fishing, visiting his in-laws in Hawaii, and spending time with his family and friends.
- Relies on the new 0.25-inch impact gun for loosening and tightening connectors. It saves his hands and arms from having to use a wrench.
Not long after my daughter was born, it was clear I needed a job with more stability to better support my family. At that time, I was living in Hawaii, working as a glazier on high-rise buildings. The work was slow, with frequent layoffs, so after talking to a friend, I became interested in learning more about becoming a lineman. After some research, I applied to Southeast Lineman Training in Trenton, Georgia. Within a few months, I headed to Georgia to attend a four-month training course, which involved hands-on training in line work.
Shortly after graduating from lineman training school, I moved to Massachusetts and was lucky enough to receive my first job at Concord Municipal Light Plant. My first job working for this utility involved converting a 4-kV to a 13.8-kV system. We ran new conductors and replaced old poles with new poles to make the system more efficient and reliable.
Day in the Life
As a first-class lineman, my main responsibility is repairing and maintaining the overhead and underground distribution system. My “typical day” varies from one day to the next. We are responsible for preparing the trucks each morning with the equipment necessary for general maintenance. We then either head out to the job site or respond to a call. One job may consist of hanging a transformer, and on the next job, we may need to disconnect a service for a tear down. At other times, we have larger projects like underground conversions, which can go on for weeks at a time. I also assist in training new apprentices.
Challenges and Rewards
The biggest challenge is not always being there for my family and missing many special occasions or family activities. Every sixth week, I am also on call for seven consecutive days, and this can be difficult on my family since any call I receive takes immediate priority. The rewards of working in the utility industry are that I get to do something I truly enjoy, and there is instant gratification for restoring power. When going out in a storm, I have gotten to meet new people from other utilities, build new relationships and learn different techniques and skills.
I have always believed safety is most important when working in a high-risk job. I have been in scenarios where we have had some close calls with trees falling during storms, so it is imperative that safety always comes first. It can be intense when you are high up on a pole while it is snowing and the wind is blowing, and you are working on minimal hours of sleep. Staying alert and being aware of your surroundings and unseen dangers is of the utmost importance.
In the fall of 2017, I went to Homestead, Florida, for two weeks to assist in restoring power after Hurricane Irma hit. The conditions were extremely hot, and the distribution lines were devastated. We set and transferred more than 60 poles while we were there. Sixty-eight days after Irma hit, we went to St. Thomas, and I was away from my family for one month. In St. Thomas, we ran new conductors and rebuilt everything from the primary to the house services.
Overhead to Underground Conversion
We are currently converting our overhead Hendrix system to underground, which minimizes the impact of severe storms. Our utility is helping make the system more robust by eventually placing all our distribution underground. This project, which will take years to complete, and involves digging, putting in manholes and running conduit.
Plans for the Future
I would be interested in pursuing more schooling and training. I love what I do, and the job security is a bonus. I would eventually like to be a truck boss and continue to learn and grow with the industry. Being a lineman has exceeded my expectations, and I look forward to the future.