National Lineman Appreciation Day 2020 Is April 18
April 18, 2020 is a Saturday, so GVEC line crews are marking the occasion on April 17.
Another Day for Keeping the Lights On
As in previous years, the day serves as a low-key celebration and recognition of GVEC linemen and of each team member’s dedication to working the lines on behalf of GVEC members. GVEC Executive Manager of Operations Richard McKinney, himself a former lineman, stressed that even on Lineman Appreciation Day, every team member comes to work prepared to exceed expectations and perform at a high level. In many ways, McKinney explained, Lineman Appreciation Day is like any other day working to keep the lights on.
Holding Steady In the Midst of Crisis
Admittedly, National Lineman Appreciation Day is perhaps a bit more notable this year amid the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. According to McKinney, however, with the exception of a few added precautions to help stem the spread of the virus, life on the line has changed little during current circumstances.
“The day-to-day job is basically the same,” he said. “The biggest change is that our guys are working four 10-hour days during this situation as opposed to five eight-hour days. And like everyone else, best practice for us means frequently sanitizing and washing our hands, keeping interactions with members—or anybody else—to a minimum, and always remaining at least six feet distance from others.”
Service Before Self
As with previous Lineman Appreciations Days, McKinney hopes to have breakfast for his team at the office before everyone heads into the field. Given current closures and changing guidelines during the crisis, McKinney’s not sure he’ll find a restaurant where takeout’s available. Regardless of whether breakfast is served, though, he stressed that GVEC members can rest assured knowing that, come hurricane, thunderstorm, other natural disaster or the outbreak of a novel virus, Cooperative linemen are always on the job working to keep power flowing.
“The jobs these guys do requires them to perform with a high level of skill and, above all else, safety,” McKinney said. “Whether they’re working day-to-day job duties, thunderstorms or, currently, COVID-19, they put it all on the line to make our members a top priority. Speaking as a past Lineman, there is nothing that makes me prouder than the guys’ dedication to meeting and exceeding member expectations.”