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Pierce Pepin marks lineman day

PPCS line crew members are, back, from left: Shawn Skelton, Greg Johnson, Jordan Hessler, Bryon Gilles and Rick Sweig, electric operations administrator. Front: Dan Jensen, Mike Maier, Sheldon Johnson, John Halverson. -- Photo submitted

Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services joined the U.S. Senate in recognizing April 18 as National Lineman Appreciation Day.

The senate passed a resolution honoring line workers for their efforts at keeping power flowing.

Headquartered in Ellsworth, Pierce Pepin has eight linemen--Sheldon Johnson, Mike Maier, John Halverson, Shawn Skelton, Dan Jensen, Greg Johnson, Bryon Gilles and Jordan Hessler--who work in the field restoring power during outages and maintaining distribution lines and equipment. Across the nation, more than 19,000 men and women maintain 2.5 million miles of line for electric co-ops, public power districts and public utility districts.

"The caliber of our line employees is top notch," said Larry Dokkestul, President and CEO. "Each and every member of our line crews should be commended for their hard work in delivering safe and reliable power to our members."

A bill introduced by U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) "recognizing linemen, the profession of linemen, the contributions of these brave men and women who protect public safety" was passed by unanimous consent. The resolution resolves these workers...

--are steeped in personal, family and professional tradition;

--are often first responders during storms and other catastrophic events, working to make the scene safe for other public safety heroes;

--work with thousands of volts of electricity high atop power lines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to keep electricity flowing;

--must often work under dangerous conditions far from their families to construct and maintain the energy infrastructure of the United States;

--and put their lives on the line every day with little recognition from the community regarding the danger of their work.

"It's time line workers were recognized like this," Dokkestul said. "It's a great acknowledgment."