Perspective: Getting the Job Done
I’ve been around electric cooperatives since I was a kid. My dad, who retired a few years ago, had a long career as a co-op manager in Louisiana and Alabama. I learned a lot about this industry from him.
Dad started his career as an engineer in the operations area of the co-op, which meant he was on-call when the lights went out. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of dad leaving the driveway in his pickup truck during a storm. He had a rack on the backseat for his hardhat and a canvas bag on the seat that held his rubber gloves. A spotlight was mounted above the mirror on the driver’s door and a long tube mounted to the truck’s bed that held his extendo-stick.
If you don’t know what an extendo-stick is, well, you’re not alone. There are probably a dozen industry terms and slang words, including a “hot stick” to describe this valuable tool. It’s just a long (sometimes 40 feet or more) fiberglass stick used by linemen and field service technicians to help them work safely on electrical equipment. The stick is usually made of several sections that can be extended up and down to various heights – hence the term “extendo-stick.” It’s made out of fiberglass because the fiberglass won’t conduct electricity. That’s a very important safety feature when your job is working on electric lines!
The extendo-stick is designed to allow linemen to work safely from the ground and extend the sections to reach equipment mounted on the tallest parts of the stick. The fiberglass sections are usually bright yellow and about 6 feet long. The last section is typically fitted with a small extension that can be used to remove and replace fuses or operate various equipment mounted to the poles. A saw blade also can be fitted to that last section to help remove limbs from the line. The extendo-stick can be a very handy tool for restoring power during a storm.
At Jackson EMC, we pride ourselves on the many high-tech ways we restore power and the technological investments we’ve made that allow us to restore power quickly and efficiently. But it’s also important to remember those low-tech ways we restore power too, like the extendo-stick. This month’s feature article is all about what it takes to restore power. I think you’ll see that it takes all the tools in our toolbelt here at Jackson EMC to ensure you have safe, reliable and affordable power.
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