Honoring linemen’s commitment to powering our communities

Posted on Apr 05 2024 in Southern Indiana Power
Southern Indiana Power Linemen Scott Peter and James Applegate.
Southern Indiana Power Linemen Scott Peter and James Applegate.
Steve Seibert

You have likely noticed Southern Indiana Power’s crews out and about, working on power lines in our community. It’s no secret that a lineman’s job is tough — but it’s a job that’s essential and must be done. This month, as we celebrate Lineman Appreciation Day on April 8, I thought I would share some interesting facts about electric linemen with you.

Did you know the equipment and tools a lineman carries while climbing a utility pole can weigh up to 50 pounds? That’s about the same as carrying 6 gallons of water. Speaking of utility poles, our linemen must climb poles ranging from 25 to 70 feet tall. Needless to say, if you have a fear of heights, this might not be the career for you.

Linemen must be committed to their careers. The long hours and ever-present hazards can truly take a toll. In fact, being a lineman is listed in the top 10 most hazardous jobs in the United States. Linemen work outdoors in sometimes challenging conditions.

While the job does not require a college degree, it does require technical skills, years of training, and hands-on learning. Did you know that becoming a journeyman lineman takes over 8,000 hours of training (or about four years)? That’s because working with high-voltage equipment requires specialized skills, experience, and an ongoing mental toughness. Shortcuts are not an option, and this line of work has no room for error.

Despite the many challenges, Southern Indiana Power’s linemen are committed to powering our local communities. During severe weather events that bring major power outages, linemen are among the first on the scene. They must be ready to answer the call and leave the comfort of their homes and families. They don’t return until the job is done, often many hours later. That’s why the lineman’s family is also dedicated to their service. Family members understand the importance of the job to the members we serve.

Southern Indiana Power has one meter technician and 12 linemen responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year. We maintain approximately 1,700 miles of power lines across our territory. Today’s linemen are information experts who can pinpoint power outages from miles away. Linemen now use iPads and other technologies to map outages, survey damage, and troubleshoot problems. So, the next time you see our linemen, please thank them for their work to keep power flowing, no matter the time of day or weather conditions. After all, our linemen are the power behind your cooperative. Please join us as we celebrate them on April 8.