Moffat County area celebrates National Lineman Appreciation Day | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County area celebrates National Lineman Appreciation Day

Official: 15 YVEA linemen, along with operations group staff members, cover 2,863 miles

Michael Neary

Groundman Saul Hernandez, left, Lineman Levi Schnackenberg and Line Crew Foreman Todd Greenwood work on the corner of Victory Land and School Street to replace a light pole that had been damaged during the winter.

Sometimes important work goes unnoticed, and a day of appreciation is designed to address that problem for one key group of employees.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative AssociationNational Rural Electric Cooperative Association has declared the second Monday in April as National Lineman Appreciation Day, said Tammi Strickland, communications and public relations manager for has declared the second Monday in April as National Lineman Appreciation Day, said Tammi Strickland, communications and public relations manager for Yampa Valley Electric AssociationYampa Valley Electric Association..

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has declared the second Monday in April as National Lineman Appreciation Day, said Tammi Strickland, communications and public relations manager for Yampa Valley Electric Association.

"We proudly recognize all electric linemen for the services they perform around the clock in dangerous conditions to keep power flowing while protecting the public's safety," Strickland said in a statement.

Linemen, and the employees who work with them, can be found all about the area — and at all hours. 15 linemen, working with members of the YVEA operations group, cover 2,863 miles, Strickland said.

On Wednesday, members of the Yampa Valley Electric Association — Saul Hernandez, Levi Schnackenberg and Todd Greenwood — worked on replacing a light pole that had been damaged by snow plowing during the winter.

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"We have a wood one temporarily in place,” said John Cromer, general foreman for the Craig District of the YVEA. “Now that the weather's better we're able to go ahead and set the steel pole."

Schnackenberg was the lineman in the group, and he was working with Hernandez, a groundman, and Greenwood, a line crew foreman. The three men were working near the corner of West Victory Lane and School Street.

Cromer said that with the weather improving, linemen and other employees will be working on projects that had been dormant over the cold months.

"We're going to be upgrading all this wire right here along this corridor in the next two weeks," Cromer said. "Not to mention that every street light down through this section is going to be changed to HPS, which is a high-pressure sodium so that we have a lot of uniformity, and that was per the request of the mayor."

Cromer said HPS is being phased in over the mercury vapor bulbs — bulbs which need to meet special disposal requirements. The HPS bulb does not need to meet such requirements, Cromer said, and it lasts longer.

Cromer noted other work on the horizon, as well.

"They're able to start getting out into the fields, into farmers' pastures and whatnot, and set poles that were deemed unsafe or rotten," he said. "Right now we'll be doing a lot of maintenance, and then come May is when we'll get real heavy into our construction."

Greenwood noted the importance of intense concentration on the job.

"You've got to have your mind focused on what you’re doing," he said. “You’ve got to be in tune.”

And Cromer pointed out the training, along with the constant learning, that goes into being a lineman.

"It takes four years of training just to become a journeyman, and once you're a journeyman you'll forever learn for the rest of your career," he said.

Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.