Crouse (2)

Spotlight on the Line Trade: Art Crouse of Jersey Central Power & Light

Oct. 19, 2020
Art Crouse, troubleman for JCP&L, works out of the JCP&L Service Center in Morristown, New Jersey.
  • Born in Clinton, New Jersey; raised in Nazareth, Pennsylvania; and now resides in Easton, Pennsylvania.
  • Married to his wife, Jackie, and has two children, Katelyn and Bradley.
  • Personal strategies for success are knowing his limitations, trying not to do too much on his own and seeking assistance when he needs it.
  • Started with Jersey Central Power & Light in 1984 and became a journeyman line worker in 1997. •
  • Spent the last 15 years as a troubleshooter and has been with JCP&L for 36 years.
  • Enjoys the outdoors, going to the beach and riding his bike and his snowmobile.

Early Years
 I developed an interest in trucks and construction equipment and really enjoy working outdoors, all of which led to my interest in becoming a lineworker. The training for the lineworker position was challenging, and I really wasn’t entirely sure I could do it, but I am so glad I chose this career path.

Safety Lesson
My number-one priority is to work safely. When you accept a job as a troubleman, you must be ready to face emergency situations, sometimes with catastrophic consequences. Working safely and taking your time to correctly diagnose the problem are always my top strategies, as well as being aware of your surroundings and never losing focus.

Life as a Troubleman
My advice to anyone interested in this field is to make sure you research the requirements and demands of the job before moving ahead. Non-traditional hours, working alone and having the confidence to determine what steps need to be taken while on your own will be your biggest challenges. Each troubleman is assigned to a specific district and each line shop has its own designated troubleman. We are assigned areas that do not require a lot of travel time to reach our destinations, which helps us get the lights back as safely and quickly as possible. When I am on my own, I like to say I am a one-person band.

Challenges and Rewards
Dealing with frustrated customers when we do experience an outage is something that you have to be ready for every day. On the other hand, once we determine the cause of the outage and safely restore power, the satisfaction and seeing the smiles on a customer’s face is a feeling that can’t be matched.

Memorable Moment 
One time I responded to an incident involving downed wires, and I had a life-changing interaction with a resident that sticks with me to this day. After safely positioning my truck in a secure location and waiting for tree and crew line assistance, a local approached my truck and appeared to be not so happy. Part of my job is to interact with frustrated customers, so I engaged in conversation. After a while, we began to talk about our mutual interest in auto racing and how we loved Mario Andretti, who hailed from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, which just happened to be our hometown. I so enjoyed our conversation that I went out of my way to share with him some of my auto racing magazines. Well, years passed, and to my surprise, this customer reached out to me to let me know that he had suffered a stroke and that having my auto racing magazines to read led to his recovery. We remained friends until his passing. To this day, I still get emotional thinking about this incident and how you never know how your interactions with customers can impact their lives. 

Editor’s Note: T&D World is excited to partner with Milwaukee Tool on a new sponsorship for the linemen profiled in our Lifeline department. To thank the linemen for their dedication to the line trade, Milwaukee will send a special custom tool package to each lineman profiled. If you are interested in being profiled in our monthly Lifeline department or know of a journeyman lineman who would be a good candidate, email T&D World Field Editor Amy Fischbach at [email protected].

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of T&D World, create an account today!