What do you think of when you hear the phrase “modern living”? For me, it’s the conveniences that I have today, that I did not when I was a kid. For most people it’s the same. And having constant access to power and electricity. But most people do not understanding where their power comes from and why it takes so long to be fixed when it goes out. So when the power does go out, we hear a lot “why the f*ck is my power still out?”
My husband is a Journeyman Lineman. What is that you may ask. Until Eric got involved with the IBEW and became a Journeyman Lineman, I had no clue what that meant. All I knew is that it was something he really wanted to do. So I threw all the support and love at him I could! Here is a job description of a Journeyman Lineman from http://www.nwlinejatc.com
Journeymen linemen build and maintain electrical power systems. They do all the work from the point of generation (power plants) all the way to the customer’s meter. The lines may be on overhead structures (up to 300′) or in underground vaults or trenches. They may be in rural and metropolitan areas.
Combine nosebleed heights, high voltage power lines and extreme weather, and you’ve got the makings for one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Lineman often have to repair wind-damaged lines, sometimes in the same storms that caused the outage in the first place. They’re pushed to work quickly to restore power to communities, which can result in sometimes lethal mistakes. Even when they aren’t dealing with such adverse conditions, these workers are handling high-voltage lines that can send thousands of watts surging through their body.
When my husband walks out of the door in the morning, I don’t know if that is the last time I am going to see him. There are many dangers of working with thousands of volts of electricity and I pray daily for the safety of my husband, as well as his crews and all lineman across the country. Lineman are considered first responders by many because they are on call for storm duty at any time. Hurricane and tornado seasons are just some of the calls they get and can be gone for days, weeks, or months at a time! Leaving behind families to work to restore power to the many people that lose it during storms.
Over the last 8 years of Eric being in this job, I know several women who have lost their men on the line. Being a Journeyman Lineman is one of the top most dangerous jobs in the country. Yes, I know there are other jobs that are dangerous, and I am by no means discrediting them. All I can do is educate you on what this job is and why the power is not something to take lightly.
One thing that really just pushes us LineWives’ buttons, is when people complain when the lineman go out of state to help in hurricane restoration. They sometimes don’t eat for days, shower for days, and sometimes sleep in their trucks. They work 16+ hours to restore the power. If you see some of them sitting in a parking lot, it’s not because they are slacking off, they are waiting on orders of where to go, and if it is safe to go there.
Eric and crew from Hurricane Irma. They hadn’t had a hot meal or even real food for 3 days.
Please remember when your power goes out, whether from a storm, ice, wind, rain, or any number of things, these men and women are risking their lives to bring you the modern conveniences that we have. It is not just as easy as flipping a switch (which sadly most people seem to think). These people have had years of training and the fixes aren’t always easy. So before you say “why the f*ck is my power still out”, think of these people and hope that during your black out one of them doesn’t give their life.