News Briefs

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My appreciation extends to all electric co-op folks

    America’s electric cooperatives have designated the second Monday of April as National Lineman Appreciation Day. On April 11, electric power associations throughout Mississippi will salute their own linemen—the hard-working employees who put their lives on the line every day to keep electricity working for you.
    I am proud to salute all electric utility linemen for the services they perform and for their critical work as first responders during natural disasters.
    I also want to point out that all electric power association employees, regardless of job title, deserve recognition for keeping your electric service reliable and efficient. I am equally in awe of their dedication, competence and dependability.
    When you walk into a local electric power association office or pull up to its drive-through window, you are greeted by a cashier whose top priority at that moment is to give you personal attention and service. Cashiers make sure our members’ payments are credited promptly and accurately to their accounts. They make the job look easy, but this is demanding work that often requires handling several tasks and interruptions at once.
    Working behind the scenes are employees responsible for keeping billing procedures on track. Like the cashiers, billing clerks are a reliable and trustworthy bunch who take great pride in the accuracy of their work.
    Another employee you may never meet on the job is the warehouse worker. The job title may vary, but every electric power association needs someone to manage a huge inventory of materials, equipment and tools. The warehouse worker’s efforts go a long way toward improving the efficiency and speed of daily operations, and especially disaster recovery work.
    An electric power association warehouse must be sufficiently stocked with thousands of ready-to-use items, from washers and bolts to transformers and utility poles. Before heading out to a job site, line crews compile a list of the specific materials and tools they’ll need for the tasks at hand; the warehouse worker makes sure they get it.
    It’s easy to see how a competent warehouse worker contributes to smooth, efficient and speedy line work.
    These are just a few of the many tasks employees carry out on a routine day at your electric power association. But when an ice storm, hurricane or tornado wipes out miles of power lines, all electric power association office employees pitch in to support the emergency power restoration work. In accordance with the electric power association’s emergency plan, employees take on extraordinary duties vital to a safe, efficient and fast power restoration effort.
    Employees may be called upon to help prepare meals for linemen working day and night to rebuild power lines. They might coordinate accommodations for additional crews, handle communications with the media, assist members on the phone or in the office, manage social media updates and perform countless other tasks.
    In a long-term crisis like Katrina, employees even take care of the linemen’s laundry.
    They do whatever it takes to keep the emergency crews safe and well fed—and members informed of their progress.
    On National Lineman’s Day, please take a moment to thank a lineman for the work he does, and all the other employees who contribute every day to the high quality of your electric service.

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