Linemen learn to climb poles for new job training (video)
They dangle from the tops of utility poles - big crosses in the sky - and defy gravity to get their work done. They work often in freezing and wet conditions, and their mission is always the same: to get the power flowing.
They are apprentice linemen with Victoria, Tri-County, Jackson and Guadalupe Valley electric cooperatives who came to the new training center at the Victoria Electric Cooperative, 102 S. Ben Jordan St., to learn climbing and safety techniques.
Throughout the week of June 23, 14 participants, many new in their career, learned pole-climbing techniques for ascending and descending under various conditions, said Nina Campos, human resource coordinator at Victoria Electric Cooperative.
Participants also learned necessary safety mechanisms required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Among other things these apprentice linemen learned are how to replace cross arms, how to remove hand lines and how to be a ground man.
The rainy weather and muddy boots are not a factor because they often work in bad conditions. That is when power is lost most often. They do not climb when lightning is striking for safety reasons.
"The training went really well and let them get real-life experience for what they will deal with when they get called for power outages," Campos said.