On April 12, we celebrate Missouri Lineworker Appreciation Day, honoring the critical work performed by electrical crews. Today, as millions of Missourians continue to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of some of the coldest weather we’ve ever seen, now more than ever, the work of our linemen and linewomen keeping our communities connected and powered is vital.
Missouri’s electric lineworkers do a difficult and dangerous job handling thousands of volts of electricity high atop power lines. They are specially trained over several years and are highly skilled. They work in all kinds of weather conditions, at any hour of the day or night, and they must do so in a safe manner. Today, maintaining social distancing and practicing safe work habits makes the job of our Missouri lineworkers even more difficult, and they are to be commended.
Every day, in addition to their regular daily work of installing and repairing our electric systems, lineworkers also are part of the crucial community of first responders. Just like police, firefighters, and emergency medical staff, a lineworkers job is to head toward trouble when it strikes, to make things safe for other first responders, and keep the lights on. Our recovery from common weather‐related emergencies and larger disasters would be difficult without their fearless commitment.
The part hometown utility lineworkers play in providing reliable electricity for our communities is more important than ever. Today, as millions of Missouri workers telecommute, conduct online meetings, and otherwise rely on electricity to get the job done during the coronavirus pandemic, we owe these professionals a debt of gratitude.
Your local community-owned, non‐profit utility is able to serve the community with reliable, safe, and affordable electricity to homes and businesses. Hundreds of lineworkers across the state are on MPUA member electric crews, responsible for maintaining power lines. Their skill and dedication are a vital part of how our communities stay connected, employed, educated, and safe during this uncertain time.
So, next time you see a lineworker, give them a salute. These hometown heroes put their lives on the line every day, and they deserve our recognition and thanks.
John Twitty is the president and CEO of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance, an association representing 119 community-owned hometown utilities in Missouri and surrounding states.