Yellow Warbler, near Salmon Lake

Lineworker Appreciation Day – April 8, 2019

Posted: April 1, 2019


Lineman, Cody Thompson, climbs a pole.

National studies consistently rank power line installers and repairers among the most dangerous jobs in the country – and for good reason. Laboring high in the air, wearing heavy equipment and working directly with high voltage, creates the perfect storm of a dangerous and unforgiving profession. Our courageous line workers are committed not only to safety and teamwork, but to overcoming the numerous challenges they face while on the job.

Missoula Electric Cooperative’s (MEC’s) lineworkers are responsible for keeping the power on, day and night, regardless of holidays, vacations, birthdays, weddings or other important milestones. Beyond the years of specialized training and apprenticeships, it takes internal fortitude and a mission-oriented outlook to be a good lineman. In fact, this service-oriented mentality is a hallmark characteristic of lineworkers. The job often requires crews to set aside personal priorities in an effort to swiftly respond to the needs of our members.

Family Support System
To perform their job successfully, lineworkers depend on years of training, experience and one another to get the job done safely. Equally important, is their reliance on a strong support system at home. A lineworker’s family understands and supports their commitment to restoring power during severe storms and power outages.

This may mean, in times of prolonged outages, families and their lineworker may have minimal communication and/or not see one another for several days. Without this unwavering family support and understanding, this already challenging job would be all the more difficult.An example of this sacrifice and solidarity occurred during the New Year’s storm of 2018. As December 2017 came to a close, we were met with a winter storm that struck our northern service territory and required all-hands-on-deck. It would be early January before our Crews returned to the comforts of their home and family.

Commitment to Community
At MEC, and across the country, a lineworkers’ mission-focused mentality of helping others often extends beyond a commitment to their work. Lineworkers are often familiar figures in the community. They can be found coaching youth sports teams, volunteering for local charities and serving on local advisory boards. In 2018, MEC’s lineworkers rallied to build a home in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, collect turkeys for families in need during the Turkey Drive and partake in a variety of community parades and events.

Thank a Lineworker
Monday, April 8 is Lineworker Appreciation Day. Given the dedication of MEC’s lineworkers, both on and off the job, I encourage you to take a moment to acknowledge the many contributions they offer our community. If you see a lineworker or their family members in the grocery store or at your child’s basketball game, please thank them. Without lineworkers, our communities would lack the brightness and warmth they work hard to deliver.