Our Power from a Lineman's Perspective


They're the first to be called when the power goes out at a moment's notice; lineworkers are responsible for keeping the electricity running.

Earlier this year, the Legislature approved “Lineworker Appreciation Day” -- to be held August 26.

Lineworkers are the first to respond during storms, making sure customers have power restored even during blizzard conditions and getting new lines back in place.

"It does take a little bit of time to put everything back together when the storm does come through," said Brad Dush, who has been a lineman for Nebraska Public Power District for 23 years.

"Like our saying goes, we're always there when you need us and when the lights go out I guess we're the ones that get them back on for you,” said Randy Holz a veteran lineman of 37 years. “We do the best we can to get them on as quick as we can and safely."

Dealing with the worst of conditions like lightning, rain, snow, ice and wind, lineworkers maintain thousands of high voltage power lines and distributing lines stretching across the state.

"When we're out working we're away from our families, so have patience with us. We'll get the lights on, it might take us some time, but trust me you're a lot safer in your house than we are outside in the rain and the snow and stuff like that," explained Dush.

No matter the conditions, there are safety measures to be taken. "Attach this piece to an anchor point in the bucket," Dush added as he pointed to his harness.

"If you see down lines obviously stay away from them. You don't know if they are energized or not energized; and then if you see something, call in and report it," said Holz.

It takes a team to do what lineworkers do. Holz and Dush have been working together for over twenty years.

"When you've been together as long as we have, it's your other family is what it is,” said Dush. “So you can kind of read each other's minds and what the other one is thinking, know if the other one is having a bad day, you can kind of cut them some slack. If not, you have fun. It makes the day go by."

Nebraska Public Power District is responsible for maintaining nearly 4,500 miles of high voltage transmission lines across the state and another 2,600 miles of distribution lines that feed into homes, schools, businesses, hospitals, etc.

NPPD has about 137 lineworkers covering from the border of Wyoming east to the Omaha area.