Lineworkers Go Above & Beyond

Lineworkers Go Above & Beyond - April 2024 CCL CEO Article

By Ruth Marks, MVEA CEO

Ruth Marks, MVEA CEO

At Mountain View Electric Association, our dedicated team of lineworkers build and maintain more than 6,400 miles of energized line in a 5,000 square mile service territory. It’s a big job — and one they do exceptionally well. I have worked in the electric co-op industry for more than 25 years, and can proudly share that MVEA is blessed to have an experienced team of true professionals keeping the lights on for those we serve.

Last year, the Colorado General Assembly passed a resolution to designate April 18 of every year as Colorado Lineworker Appreciation Day in recognition of “the men and women who protect public safety and maintain the electrical infrastructure so critical to our lives and economic well-being.” This month, I invite you to join me in thanking the dedicated lineworkers who work tirelessly to ensure our community receives uninterrupted power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In the electric utility world there is a popular saying that “not all heroes wear capes…some wear hard hats.” I couldn’t agree more! It takes a certain type of person to become a lineworker. The long hours and ever-present danger are not for the faint of heart. You may find it surprising, but even with advancements in safety protocols and education, being a lineworker is still listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S. and is often compared to that of a first-responder.

And yet, they often receive little recognition by the general public of how important, demanding, and dangerous the job is…even on a sunny day. It's a hard truth that, in our modern world, it is easy to forget that when the electricity goes out during severe weather events, there is not a switch that we flip to get the lights back on — it is a dedicated lineworker braving the weather to safely work near high-voltage power lines to restore power. Shortcuts are not an option. There is no room for error with this type of work. Being a lineworker is not a glamorous or easy profession. It takes years of specialized training, ongoing education, and, equally important, a sense of service and commitment.

I consider myself lucky to work in this industry with the men and women who have answered the call to serve. While we join together to thank our lineworkers this April, I also want to recognize the team of highly skilled professionals behind the scenes who work to ensure we can provide safe, reliable, and affordable electric service to our members.

When you work in a trade as dangerous as ours, “be safe” takes on another level of meaning. I have shared this before, but it bears repeating: Keeping employees safe is THE top priority at MVEA every single day. While we built this priority into our strategic plan, it is the employees who give it life — they look out for one another and work together to create a culture of safety to prevent accidents and injury. I have a tremendous amount of pride in MVEA’s safety culture.

Lineworkers deserve all the appreciation and accolades that come their way on Lineworker Appreciation Day and every day. Please visit the webpage to send a thank you note to help us honor MVEA’s dedicated lineworkers.