Why We are Thankful for Linemen (and Why You Should Be, Too)

The holiday season is officially upon us and while you prepare your list of things to be thankful for this year, consider adding another name to your list: linemen. While you might not know one by name, you’ve had many risk their life for you. 

Linemen have been around since the foundation of electricity. Between the 1890s and the 1930s, during the advent of electric power as a useful form of energy, linework was considered to be one of the most hazardous occupations. Due to electrocution and lack of adequate training, many men lost their lives. In order to protect and advocate for the safety of lineworkers, labor unions were formed, such as the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. With the growing dependence on electricity during the 1940s and 50s, the need for linemen to repair damaged power lines grew as well. Now, over a century later, electricity is essential to everyday life, and so are linemen. 

The year 2020 has been one for the books. From a global pandemic that caused nationwide shutdowns, to political unrest and devastating natural disasters that impacted communities across the nation, we, as a country, have been through a lot. Many of us may have shifted to an at-home work environment, or changed jobs due to layoffs. Few may have kept on with business as usual, but many were not so lucky. Millions of people experienced loss this year in more ways than one, whether it be the loss of a loved one, a job, an experience, or even your entire community. 

Up to this month, a total of 12 named tropical storms made landfall in the United States battering the towns and homes of the Gulf and East coasts.1 In just the month of April alone, more than 350 tornadoes touched down in the United States, one for severe weather history books, leaving countless without power, water, and a place to lay their head.2 Wildfires on the West Coast burned over five million acres across three states, destroying thousands of buildings and leaving millions to live under thick clouds of ash and smoke.3 While families and communities fled to safety, linemen and other first responders were the few and the brave who ran towards the storm. However, even though they are crucial to restoring life back to normal after devastating storms, linemen are rarely thanked for their brave sacrifice as first responders. 

But, it’s not just the big things like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or snowstorms to be grateful and thank a lineman for. It’s the small, day-to-day things that are more important than you think. 

When your power goes out because a tree fell on a power line in the middle of the night, thank a lineman for restoring your power before you’ve even had your morning coffee. 

When a storm rolls through right before Thanksgiving day, thank a lineman for resetting poles and power lines so that you can cook and enjoy dinner with your family.

While you and your family are cuddled up on a snowy day safely in your home, thank a lineman for going out and fixing a blown transformer to keep your heat on. 

When the lights go out on the Christmas tree you took hours to decorate, thank a lineman for braving the cold to bring the holiday cheer back into your home. 

We, at Southeast Lineman Training Center, are proud to be equipping future linemen that will Put It All On The Line™ for you and your family. We encourage you and your family this Thanksgiving to do your part and thank a lineman.

Interested in becoming a lineman?

Southeast Lineman Training Center exists to provide training in a realistic and challenging environment, where individuals can establish the foundation necessary to succeed as lineworkers in the electrical utility and communications industries. We do this by instilling into each student our three core educational values: knowledge, discipline, and ability.