Lives on the line

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By Meghaan Evans

Every year, we take the time to thank our extraordinary lineworkers who dedicate their lives to keeping the lights on in our local communities. Forty lineworkers maintain over 5,500 miles of line in OEC’s service territory, and without them, our world would be dark.  

We depend on our entire staff to keep OEC running smoothly, but on April 9, we honor all lineworkers who often find themselves in dangerous and challenging situations, so our lives may be a little bit brighter and safer every day. These brave men repair damaged lines and maintain critical infrastructure for our communities. Without their hard work and commitment to the job, our co-op would not thrive. No matter the time — day or night, weekday or weekend — if the lights go out, so do they. 

Perhaps you have seen them raising their bucket trucks in howling winds and torrential rains, or in freezing, icy conditions. They work around the clock near high-voltage power lines until electricity is restored to every member in our co-op community. 

In addition to aiding members in our local service territory, lineworkers are always willing and eager to volunteer when a neighboring community, county or state is in need after a major outage occurs. Our linemen can also be seen conducting safety programs at local schools and participating in educational opportunities in communities across our service area.

We hope you will join us in thanking the many lineworkers — both locally and around the world — that light our lives. Remember, your power works because they do! Use #ThankALineman on social media to show your support. 

Meghaan Evans writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus