Utility workers deserve our thanks

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The workers who restore electrical service after storms have a dangerous job and deserve our thanks.

No one likes to be left without electricity. But whether due to storms, the occasional vehicle vs. a power pole accident, or the inevitable wear and tear on equipment, power outages are a fact of life.

That’s when we’re all dependent on the utility crews who must venture out at all hours and in all manner of weather so the rest of us can be comfortable in our homes and productive in our offices.

It’s a sometimes thankless job. It’s also sometimes a dangerous one.

The Decatur, Ala. newspaper reported recently that two electric company employees contracted by Alabama Power died in Jefferson County while working to restore power lost by storms spinning off the remnants of Hurricane Ida.

According to WTVM-TV, the two linemen, both 19 years old, were electrocuted while working in Adger, about 23 miles southwest of Birmingham.

According to T&D World, a trade publication of the power transmission and distribution industry, line workers are in the top 10 most dangerous professions, based on annual fatalities.

It’s not just the risk of electrocution. Electrical utility workers are also at risk for falls and traffic collisions.

Linemen never know when they’ll be called on, especially when spring storms are involved. They’re also on call to render mutual aid in times of natural disasters. Before Hurricane Ida made landfall, local line workers were on standby to head south if called on.

Utility workers earn our respect and thanks every day, just by being on call. As unpredictable as the weather is in upstate New York we never know when we’ll need them.

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