MD Kabir works in the heart of New York City as a lineworker for E-J Electric and IBEW Local 3.

Spotlight on the Line Trade: MD Rana Kabir

Aug. 7, 2023
MD Kabir works in the heart of New York City as a lineworker for E-J Electric and IBEW Local 3.

IBEW Local 3

  • Born in a small village in Bangladesh.
  • Has two brothers and two sisters and was raised by his uncle and his family after losing his parents early in life.
  • Married to his wife, Nadira, and they have a son and daughter.
  • Enjoys playing Cricket and riding his bike.
  • Came to the United States in 2006 after finishing college in Bangladesh.
  • Has no relatives who work in the utility industry.
  • Nominated by Apprentice Daniel Walsh, who describes him as a humble, hardworking and experienced lineman who taught him many great lessons in both the trade and in life.

Day in the Life

As a journeyman lineman for E-J Electric and Local 3 in New York City, my responsibilities are to teach apprentices, help my working foreman produce quality work, make sure the job site is properly set up and ensure everyone involved in the job is wearing proper personal protective equipment. On a daily basis, our main job is maintaining the distribution line, which includes setting new poles, replacing old poles, installing and replacing transformers, pulling wire, reconductoring, installing line safety equipment and risers and splicing overhead primary cable.

Challenges and Rewards

I think the main challenges are keeping the customers happy, working safely as a group and returning home without any harm. I count smiling faces as rewards when people get their power back after long, cold nights.

Safety Lesson

One day, I witnessed one of our journeymen linemen moving a big material box over a parked car. Suddenly, the sling broke and damaged two cars. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Since then, I never try to carry loads over anything that can cost lives or money. I always check load limits of slings or equipment.

Memorable Storm

In 2017, we traveled to Puerto Rico to restore power after Hurricane Maria caused significant damage to the island. People lost not only electricity, but everything they had in the devastating storm. All the roads and bridges were damaged by excessive floodwater, and plants and crops were destroyed. When we arrived, we saw their smiles, which they had never lost. We were welcomed by them, and they worked with us side by side to restore power. That was the best storm experience of my career. The people of Puerto Rico know how to smile after losing everything. I think that’s the power of survival.

Tools and Technology

I think every tool is important in its own way. Nowadays, people are getting more reliant on electric tools, which is good for productivity, but nothing is wrong from using all the tools lineworkers have been using for decades.

Plans for the Future

I like to work with people, and I enjoy being outside. I also love exploring new places, which I get to do as a storm chaser. I’m currently working on energized distribution lines but would like to work on the transmission system in the future.

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