• Born in Kendallville, Indiana.
• Married to his wife of 12 years and has a 10-year-old son, Aden, and a nine-year-old daughter, Madison.
• Is the first in his family to work in the power industry.
• Enjoys spending time outdoors with his family as well as gardening, hunting and fishing.
A family friend first introduced me to the power industry. Then in July of 2005, as I was getting out of the United States Marine Corps, I was offered a position as a groundman with Sumter Utilities in South Carolina. The company was a contractor for Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC). For the first two years of my career, I learned the industry and helped with storm recovery after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, mostly in Mississippi. NOVEC hired me in June of 2007 and I started my four-year apprenticeship to become a journeyman line technician.
Day in the Life
In my current role, I maintain the power service provided to our consumers and build the power-distribution system for new consumers. As a lead line tech, I am responsible for all individuals in my crew to accomplish all tasks and maintain a safe working environment for everyone on the job. Early every morning, my supervisor gives me all the work assignments for the day. Then I proceed to brief the crew on the day’s work, pick up materials from the warehouse, decide what equipment we need for the particular jobs and travel to the locations. On location, I give an extensive tailgate briefing to the crew on required tasks, desired outcomes, procedures, hazards and safety precautions required to accomplish the tasks.
On the Job
Currently, I am working on our cable rehabilitation program. We are replacing underground utilities to provide more reliable service to our consumers. NOVEC helps to harden the system from severe weather by following a strict right-of-way clearing program, upgrading both underground and overhead structures regularly and providing linemen with computer technology that assists them in the field.
Challenges and Rewards
The biggest challenges and rewards are one in the same. I enjoy the challenge of a good storm when the power is out. This challenge also comes with a reward and the thank yous from our customers. Another reward is teaching young apprentices in the program the right way to become safe journeymen and watching them learn and grow in the industry.
Focus on Safety
The importance of safety in this industry is all around us every day. The most important thing we do is go home to our families at the end of the day.
My most memorable storm moment came when I was in Mississippi for 10 weeks after Hurricane Katrina. As someone fairly new to the industry, I realized how much devastation Mother Nature can cause. The working conditions were not very good because the places where we worked looked like a bomb went off. Houses and roads were hard to distinguish. We slept in our trucks for many nights until we were provided cots to sleep on in a tent. We took showers in one semi-trailer, and volunteers washed our clothes in another trailer. I had a hard time with this storm because so many people lost everything they had in the destruction. Towards the end of my time down there, we connected temporary power to the camper trailers homeowners placed on their properties.
Another severe weather event I will never forget is when we worked on back-to-back snowstorms in 2010. The storms affected our consumers heavily. The snow was very deep and made it challenging to not only drive on the streets, but also walk the right of ways to fix the problems on the line. Working on this storm made me realize how much work went into getting the power back on for my family when I was a kid in Indiana.
Plans for the Future
Being a lineman is a very rewarding career choice, and I would recommend this to anyone who loves helping people and the outdoors. I wouldn’t change a thing. I enjoy my job and love
that I get to do different things every day. I plan to provide for my family the best that I can and then retire.