Yesterday, July 10, was Lineworker Appreciation Day, not to be confused with National Lineman Appreciation Day on April 18. National Lineworker Appreciation Day is celebrated each year on July 10, and honors the life and work of Henry Miller, the first president of IBEW.
“On July 10, 122 years ago the IBEW’s founder and first president, lineworker Henry Miller, was killed on the job,” said IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. “Lineworker Appreciation Day is a reminder of the sacrifices made by America’s electrical workers who perform difficult and dangerous jobs to light up this nation.”
“The Utility Workers Union of America is proud to join with Congress, and with all our Union Brothers and Sisters from across the labor movement, in saluting the hard work and dedication of journeymen lineworkers, first of the first responders who are always ready, and who work in conditions that are often dangerous and demanding,” said UWUA President Mike Langford. “Without their skill and determination in keeping the lights on and the power flowing, our country literally could not function. Today we say ‘thank you’ to all the line crews who give their all every day so that the rest of us can enjoy safe, healthy communities.”
“The nation’s lineworkers are the face of America’s electric companies and often work in dangerous and difficult conditions to provide reliable and safe power to customers,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Lineworkers are heroes and are among the first responders in the wake of storms and other disasters. The 2017 hurricane season was a massive and unprecedented undertaking, and I am proud of our nation’s lineworkers who pulled together and answered the call for help in Texas, the Southeast, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. We are grateful to these dedicated men and women, and they truly are deserving of this recognition and our appreciation.”
More than 10,000 workers and support personnel from 21 states helped to restore power after Hurricane Harvey, and an army of more than 60,000 workers and support personnel from across the country and Canada helped to restore power to the more than 7.8 million customers impacted by Hurricane Irma.
Hurricane Maria caused damage in Puerto Rico unlike anything the industry has ever seen, and nearly 60 investor-owned electric companies and public power utilities sent approximately 3,000 lineworkers and support personnel, more than 1,000 trucks by barge, and critical materials to help restore power to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.
Following are riveting images of the day-to-day work life of linemen and associated workers who rush to restore power, maintain the flow of electricity and even conserve wildlife. These images were first featured in T&D World's "Parting Shot" department in the Electric Utility Operations section of the magazine. For more coverage of utility maintenance, operations and emergencies, visit the EUO home page. Each image is contributed by utilities from around the nation.
Note: Some images were cropped for digital optimization.