WALTERS (KFDX/KJTL) — April 12 is National Lineman Appreciation day for electric cooperatives and the workers who keep the power flowing.
These frontline responders make up nearly one-third of all employees at these co-ops.
Police officers, firefighters, and EMTs are often the first positions that come to mind when people hear the term first responder. But one position that goes highly unmentioned is the electric line worker.
“Working the outages are rough but getting the lights back on is always a great thing for us,” Cotton Electric Cooperative Operations Superintendent Clinton Ingram said.
Ingram was a line worker for 17 years before he became superintendent. He knows first hand what it takes to do the job and it isn’t easy.
“It has its challenges,” Ingram said. “It’s an art for sure. The worst part is when the weather is terrible. Sometimes it makes our outages and stuff prolonged a little just dealing with the elements but all our guys, they go for it.”
As electric co-ops honor their line workers on National Lineman Appreciation Day, Ingram said it’s just another day working the lines for them.
Cotton Electric makes sure their workers are celebrated and so do their members.
“Whenever there are outages we try to keep the members informed on our social media accounts and they are always just expressing their appreciation and they’re so supportive of the work that everyone here at Cotton does,” Cotton Electric Cooperative CEO Jennifer Meason said.
And while it is a day to celebrate the line worker, Ingram says it’s a team effort.
“That’s something I learned from coming from being a lineman for so long once I became the superintendent,” Ingram said. “Our accounting our warehouse guys, our garage, the meter shop, it takes the whole group to make it work.”
Even on their day of appreciation, line workers express the sentiment that teamwork makes the dream work and their work keeps the lights on.