Those of us who live in areas of Alabama served by electric cooperatives know how vitally important our linemen are. Many of us have family members who have been linemen, or have husbands, fathers, uncles, brothers or cousins who are currently linemen.
“When the lights go out, our linemen are the first responders,” said Michael Kelley, senior manager of safety and loss control for the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. “They work with thousands of volts of electricity on power lines, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, often under dangerous conditions far from their families.”
Realizing the importance our linemen have in Alabama, AREA worked with state legislators to pass a formal resolution designating the first Monday in June as Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day. The joint resolution, HJR 244, was sponsored by Rep. April Weaver of Alabaster, who took a special interest in the legislation because her grandfather was a lineman. Rep. Weaver presented a framed copy of the resolution to AREA President and CEO Fred Braswell at the 2014 Annual Meeting.
Previously, Congress had designated April 18 as National Lineman Appreciation Day, but no designation was formally made this year. “By having the Alabama Legislature se aside the first Monday in June as a special day to honor our linemen, we can be sure that they are formally recognized every year,” said Sean Strickler, AREA vice president for public affairs.
A ceremony will be held to officially recognize the state’s linemen June 2 on the State Capitol steps.