- Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming, and has four brothers and two sisters.
- At the age of 12, he moved to South Jordan, Utah, where he discovered his love for working on cars. During high school, he took autobody and welding for three years and worked at Jiffy Lube.
- Married to his wife, Angela, for 10 years, and they have two sons: nine-year-old Lawson and six-year-old Harrison.
- Is a first-generation lineman.
- ·Enjoys boating and camping with his friends and family and hunting for deer and elk. He also likes participating in a few Lineman’s Rodeos each year.
When I was a teenager, I dated a lineman’s daughter. After speaking with her dad about being a lineman, I knew it was a very hard job, but also a very rewarding one. When I graduated from high school, I signed the books at the union hall and became a meter reader. I read meters for a year before I had the opportunity to join the apprenticeship in 2005 at the age of 20 with Rocky Mountain Power.
Day in the Life
As a journeyman lineman., some of my main responsibilities are maintaining power lines and restoring power during an outage. A typical day starts with assessing what needs to be done. I may respond to trouble calls or work on old lines that need new crossarms or an upgrade.
Challenges and Rewards
I believe some of the biggest challenges we face is the unknown when we leave the shop. One day we could be locating a down line in the mountains in the dark or we could be called out to a car hit pole. Our job is to make the area safe to ensure we don’t cause more safety concerns. With that being said, it is also very rewarding to be able to get the power back on. Nothing makes us more proud than walking into a bad situation and using all the tools, communication, and knowledge to get the power back on—regardless if it is one person or 10,000 people out of power.
When I was a new apprentice, I was working on a reconductor, and we were spreading the wire out on a dead-end pole. The wire broke and landed on the truck and instantly caught the truck on fire. I was on the ground and wasn’t sure what to do. I believe that safety has always been a part of my daily routine, and I have gained a better understanding of why the safety measures are in place.
Back in 2018, when I was working as a troubleshooter, I responded to a fire. After I arrived on the scene, I discovered the fire department had contained the fire with no damage to our facilities. It was very windy that day, and I went out on a few other calls. Later in the evening, dispatch called me and said told me we lost three transmission lines and one distribution circuit in another fire. I quickly inspected the damage. It burnt roughly 120 poles, 90% of which were transmission poles. The terrain was rocky and extremely steep and made it hard to access. The next morning, we went back to reassess if it was safe to work. I continued to work with crews from Wyoming and Idaho for a few weeks until it was all rebuilt.
Life as a Lineman
I have had the chance to work at a few utilities in different states. This has provided me the opportunity to work in different cultures and places. I have enjoyed learning and made lifelong friends along the way. I have gotten to do things that I never thought I would be able to do as part of my career. I often think and say, “Can you believe they are paying us to do this?” I cannot wait to see what is in store for the next few decades.
Plans for the Future
If I had a chance to go back and become a journeyman lineman or choose another career, I would do this again 100%. Being a lineman has been the most rewarding, hardest, most fun and sometimes the longest days I have ever asked for. My plans right now are to keep on learning and teaching the next generation that is coming up. I want them to be the best and love the trade as much as I do.
Attention linemen: Do you or someone you know in the line trade want to participate in Lifeline/Spotlight on the Line Trade? If so, email Field Editor Amy Fischbach with a photo of yourself working in the field, and she will work with you on your profile for the magazine. The linemen who are featured in our Lifeline department will receive a prize tool package from our sponsor, Milwaukee Tool, for their dedication to the trade.