In WPPI Energy member’s 51 communities—and across the nation—our modern lives wouldn’t be possible without the men and women who work on power lines. April 18 is National Lineman Appreciation Day, and it’s the perfect opportunity to
A Challenging Role
Line work requires physical strength and agility to climb poles, dig trenches, and more while wearing equipment that can weigh around 45 pounds. Linemen also navigate dangerous situations daily, repairing high-voltage lines and working on poles or in bucket lifts hundreds of feet above the ground.
In addition, since power outages can happen at any time and can be caused by anything from a storm to a car accident, linemen need to be prepared to spring into action at a moment’s notice.
“When the power is out, so are your local linemen,” said Chris Chartier, Director of Distribution Services for WPPI Energy. “Their focus is always on safety and the community.”
Linemen are often the first on the scene in emergency zones where downed power lines can put civilians, EMTs, law enforcement and firefighters in danger. These highly trained professionals ensure the area is safe for other first responders.
Up and Running in the UP
Most WPPI Energy member electric utilities have provided electric service for well over a century, and the invaluable work of their linemen has always been at the core of their safe and reliable operations. For the joint action agency, however, 2019 marks a significant new development in this area.
In January, wholesale power supplier and service provider WPPI Energy expanded its offerings, launching a shared line crew to meet the local needs of Baraga and L’Anse, two neighboring WPPI member communities in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Through the service, WPPI Energy provides knowledgeable, experienced line workers and their necessary training and equipment, with the costs are passed through to the two communities.
WPPI Energy implemented the service on Feb. 1, and journeymen line workers Dony Ison and Matt Robison are now carrying out the villages’ day-to-day electric distribution construction and maintenance work.
“Helping our members work together for the benefit of their communities is the purpose for which WPPI was created,” said Chartier, who oversees the new service. “We are pleased to support Baraga and L’Anse with a solution that meets their local needs.”
A Commitment to Safety and Service
Today and every day of the year, we appreciate the linemen in all 51 WPPI Energy member communities for their commitment to public safety and service.