HONORING OUR GREATEST ASSETS
In April and throughout the year
Every year, we take the time to thank our extraordinary employees who dedicate their time and talents to serving the members of Missoula Electric Cooperative. Our 42 Employees maintain nearly 2,000 miles of line in MEC’s service territory, and without them, our world would be dark.
It takes a combined effort of our entire staff to keep MEC running smoothly day in and day out. Each year in April, MEC and electric co-ops across the country specifically honor all line-workers during National Lineman Appreciation Day. Our nation’s electrical line-workers often find themselves in dangerous and challenging situations, so our lives may be a little bit brighter and safer every day. These brave individuals repair damaged lines and maintain critical infrastructure for our communities. Without their hard work and commitment to the job, our co-op would not thrive. I often say that when conditions are at their worst, our line-workers are at their best. No matter the time––day or night, weekday, weekend or holiday––if the lights go out, so do they.
Perhaps you have seen them raising their bucket trucks in howling winds and torrential rains, or in freezing, icy conditions. They work around the clock near high-voltage power lines until electricity is restored to every member in our co-op community.
In addition to aiding members in our local service territory, line-workers are always willing and eager to volunteer when a neighboring community, county or state is in need after a major outage occurs. We hope you will join us in thanking the many lineworkers––both locally and around the world––that light our lives. Remember, your power works because they do! Use #ThankALineman on social media to show your support.
While our line-workers may be our most visible employees during times of trouble, our network of support in the office is equally critical to our success. Our inside staff ensures the co-op runs smoothly during outages as well as all the days in between so that our crews can focus on what they do best – keeping the lights on. Making this possible is no small feat and requires coordination of all of the co-op’s departments.
If you pay bills in person, you are probably on a first name basis with our member service representatives. Each month, our front office greets hundreds of visitors, answers thousands of phone calls and processes many thousands of payments from our members. When not taking payments, our reps are collecting reads from all of the members’ meters and generating bills.
If you are new to the co-op, you may have met with our Engineering Department who design all of the line extensions that eventual feed your new home or ranch. In addition, the department maps all of the poles, wires and underground equipment so that outside crews can navigate efficiently to repair or install services.
Keeping track of all of the numbers, our accounting personnel are responsible for not only the financials, but all of the materials that make up our utility plant – no small feat when you consider the size and spread of MEC’s service territory.
Finally, our safety, security and IT folks make sure we are working safe and protecting our members’ data. Safety is our top priority and keeping up with regulations, new tools, technologies and training is a full time affair.
This month, if you see one of our linemen – say thanks and know that the next time the lights go out, your dedicated co-op’s employees will be there until the last light comes back on.