FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): I&M will celebrate National Line Worker’s day on Sunday. The day is set aside to honor the men and women who work on power lines and keep the power on to homes, schools and businesses across the country.
I&M’s line workers support a 30 county area of more than 4,500 square miles and they maintain 25-thousand miles of power lines in that area. 200 Line Mechanics, also known as linemen, go through a very extensive training program according to Training Specialist Nobe Jones who says that it takes 208 weeks, or four years of training to become a journeyman line worker.
The Fort Wayne training center, located along the Airport Expressway at Baer Road, boasts an outdoor and an indoor climbing facility that has an example of every kind of pole and wire configuration used in electric delivery, along with ground based transformers that serve residential areas with buried power lines.
There’s no such thing as a typical day, but the goal always is to come home safer than they leave. Line mechanics work all three shifts and often have to haul heavy gear up 40 foot poles in every kind of weather, including storms. When you turn on the lights and they work – thank your line mechanic.
When you think of conservation and the environment, an electric utility company is probably the farthest thing from your mind. Forestry service is critical to safe, efficient electric delivery I&M has a full division committed to not only cutting down or trimming trees, but also reforestation. I&M works with landowners to help with everything from trimming trees near power lines to removing and replanting.
One of the most common causes of power outages is tree limbs that fall acrosss power lines. In 2003, a single tree caused a power outage that impacted more than 50 million Americans and Canadians from the Midwest to the East Coast