10:31 AM

Today is National Lineman Appreciation Day... Thank a Lineman!

(April 18, 2013) - Line crews from electric membership corporations, including Jackson EMC, and other utilities gathered Thursday in Griffin as elected officials celebrated the work and dedication of electric utility linemen from across the state.

The U.S. Senate recently passed Senate Resolution 95 for the designation of National Lineman Appreciation Day on April 18, 2013. U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson introduced the resolution to recognize linemen, the profession of lineman, and the contributions of these brave men and women who protect public safety and ensure a reliable supply of electricity for homes and businesses.

“We’re grateful these employees are getting the recognition they so richly deserve,” said Jim Smith, Vice President of Engineering with Jackson EMC. “You’ll never find a more dedicated, deserving and talented group of workers who time after time put their lives on the line to help others who find themselves without power and other essential services.”

According to Smith, the profession of lineman is steeped in personal, family and professional tradition. They are often first responders during storms and other catastrophic events, working to make the scene safe for other public safety workers.

Linemen often work in treacherous conditions far from their families to construct and maintain the energy infrastructure, working with thousands of volts of electricity high atop poles and power lines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Smith says it’s fitting that National Lineman Appreciation Day comes on the heels of the work these linemen accomplished during major weather events including Superstorm Sandy, ice storms, hurricanes and devastating tornadoes which hit Georgia and the east coast in recent months.

In fact, the EMCs in Georgia, including Jackson EMC, have extensive experience in restoring power following destruction from a variety of weather events, including ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and severe weather like Virginia and Maryland experienced following Superstorm Sandy.

In recent years, EMC crews have worked alongside co-ops in South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida when the call came for help. They also routinely come to the assistance of their fellow co-ops in Georgia who experience widespread outages as a result of severe weather.

Crews from electric cooperatives were joined by fellow line workers from Georgia Power, municipal systems, Electric Cities of Georgia, MEAG Power, and a number of elected officials present at the ceremony.

Jackson EMC is consumer-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to more than 206,000 consumers in parts of ten Northeast Georgia counties.Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 42 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia’s customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to more than four million people, half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.