Circle the Date: A Day to Celebrate Linemen

got_power_thank_a_lineman_throw_blanketMark it on the calendar: There’s now a day set aside to celebrate the accomplishments of the linemen whose devotion to duty is at the heart of electric cooperatives.

The NRECA Board has designated the second Monday of each April as National Lineman Appreciation Day.  In 2015, that means April 13 will represent an opportunity for co-ops to recognize the men and women who keep the lights on.

“It gives us a rallying point for our linemen,” said Kerry Kelton, NRECA Texas Director, who presented the resolution to the board December 11 on behalf of the Government Relations Committee.

“As an association, we felt it was important for us to designate a day each year for this purpose,” said Kelton, CEO of MidSouth Synergy, Navasota, Texas.

The resolution represented the first time the NRECA Board has formally recognized a day in honor of linemen. There have been on-again, off-again attempts at a linemen appreciation day at the state and federal levels.

Several states held a day of appreciation earlier this year, though the date differed from March to June, depending on the state.

In 2013, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution designating April 18 as National Lineman Appreciation Day. In 2014, only a House resolution to mark the day was introduced.

The NRECA Board resolution calls on the association to provide information and other support to help co-ops across the country celebrate their linemen.

The full text of the resolution, which the board adopted unanimously:

“Whereas linemen leave their families and put their lives on the line every day to keep the power on;

Whereas linemen work 365 days a year under dangerous conditions to build, maintain and repair the electric infrastructure;

Whereas linemen are the first responders of the electric cooperative family, getting power back on and making things safe for all after storms and accidents; and

Whereas there would be no electric cooperatives without the brave men and women who comprise our corps of linemen;

Therefore be it resolved that NRECA recognize the Second Monday of April of each year as National Lineman Appreciation Day and make available to electric cooperatives, materials and support to recognize the contributions of these valuable men and women to America’s Electric Cooperatives.”

Written by Steven Johnson/ECT Staff Writer and published December 16, 2014

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