By Ruth Marks, MVEA CEO
This month I ask you to join me and the State of Colorado in thanking the dedicated lineworkers who work tirelessly to ensure our community receives uninterrupted power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I am proud to share that the Colorado General Assembly is passing a resolution this month 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 resolution is well-deserved and has been a long time coming — lineworkers are the first responders of the utility world. And yet, they often receive little recognition by the general public of how demanding and dangerous the job is…even on a sunny day. 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.
We live in a world of modern convenience and innovative technologies. It is easy to forget that when the electricity goes out during a blizzard, there is a dedicated lineworker out braving the weather to safely work near high-voltage power lines to get the lights back on as quickly as possible. Even with the best equipment and under the best weather conditions, being a lineworker is not a glamorous or easy profession. Shortcuts are not an option, and there is no room for error with this type of work. It is physically demanding work that takes years of specialized training and ongoing education, as well as a sense of service and commitment.
At Mountain View Electric Association, our dedicated team of lineworkers build and maintain over 6,200 miles of energized line in a 5,000 square mile service territory. It’s a big job — and one they do exceptionally well. While lineworkers may be the most visible employees out in the field, it’s important to share that there is also a team of highly skilled professionals behind the scenes who work together to ensure we can provide safe, reliable, and affordable electric service to our members.
The MVEA Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team recognizes the dangers of the trade and knows that employees are the co-op’s greatest asset. Keeping employees safe is THE top priority at MVEA every single day. What’s more, MVEA’s employees make safety the top priority at the co-op — they look out for one another and work together to create a culture of safety to prevent accidents and injury.
I consider myself lucky to work in this industry with the men and women who have answered the call to serve — it takes a certain type of person to step up to the demands, dangers, and responsibility to join this trade.
Let’s make the inaugural Colorado Lineworker Appreciation Day on April 18 one to remember! Please join us in honoring MVEA’s lineworkers for their dedication in providing co-op members a safe and reliable source of electricity.