Whatever it takes: Powering life

Posted on Apr 08 2024 in WIN Energy REMC

Tom Nowaskie

Did you know that line work is ranked as one of the 10 most dangerous jobs in the county? The lineworkers at WIN Energy REMC work rain or shine, in often challenging conditions to ensure you have reliable electricity. We’re celebrating Lineworker Appreciation Day on April 8.

Our lineworkers, all 21 of them, love their jobs despite the hard work and danger they encounter every day. I am going to give you a better look into what our crews face and, more importantly, why they do what they do.


Many people know line work is dangerous because of working near high-voltage electricity. Move the wrong way or lose focus for a split second, and it could be deadly. They must be aware of their surroundings and the safety of the person beside them. Our crews often work on energized power lines, and you can’t always tell they are energized by looking at them. They are working with an element of danger that requires concentration, and there is no margin for error. The environment compounds the pressure because when you need power most is usually when the weather is worst. Crews often work in storms with rain, wind, extreme heat and cold, in the dark, or on the side of the road next to fast-moving traffic. Yes, it’s dangerous, but that’s what our lineworkers are trained to do.

Many may not realize it, but our aspiring lineworkers undergo years of training. It takes four years to train, and during that time, those individuals are called apprentice line specialists. After an apprenticeship, with many hours of classroom study and more than 8,000 hours of on-the-job training, it’s time to transition to journeyman line specialist status — that’s when they’re considered fully trained.

But the education is ongoing. Lineworkers continuously receive training to stay mindful of safety requirements and up-to-date on the latest equipment and procedures.


The daily expectations of a lineworker are physically demanding — loading heavy materials, climbing poles, and in and out of buckets on their trucks. They often go places the trucks can’t, so our crews might be hiking through the woods with 40 pounds of personal protective equipment. But that’s the job.


There are sacrifices to being a lineworker. They are often the first on the scene of an emergency, seeing devastating things like car accidents, structure fires, and damage from severe storms. They don’t know what type of situation they will face or when they will face it. Our crews get calls at all hours and in the middle of the night. I am thankful that our lineworkers’ families are supportive of their work.


The co-op is a second family. In this work, you have to depend on the person beside you in life-or-death circumstances. It’s a culture of trust, teamwork, and service. It’s all about keeping the teammate beside you safe and the lights on for everybody else.

Our lineworkers have a lot of pride in their work. Even when it’s cold and wet, our crews know they are working to keep people warm. Being a former lineworker myself, there’s a lot of satisfaction in hearing someone yell “Thank you” from the window after the lights come back on or seeing people flipping the light switches on their porches after an outage is restored. That feeling makes it worth it.

WIN Energy REMC and its employees are members of this community. We live in the same neighborhoods. We shop at the same stores. Our kids go to the same schools. If your lights are off, there is a good chance ours are off, too. So, you can trust that our lineworkers are doing their best to get the lights back on as quickly and safely as possible so you can get back to the things that matter most in life.

If you see a lineworker, thank them for their dedication to do whatever it takes to power your life!