PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — When there’s a storm, someone needs to be able to maintain those power lines.
Ameren Illinois hosted a “Day in the Life of a Lineman” event at their operating center in Peoria on Tuesday morning. It gave WMBD’s Ben Fries a chance to climb up a pole and go on the bucket truck, which gave him a greater appreciation for what linemen do.
However, according to Ameren spokesperson Brian Bretsch, it isn’t a job for everyone.
“We do have a lot of new safety equipment, all of our guys work out of buckets when possible, but there are times when they have to climb, we have a lot of the latest safety equipment but the job at hand is a difficult one, it’s a dangerous job to do and it’s just not cut out for anyone to do,” Bretsch said.
Lineman apprentice Michael Ardis talked about the physical and mental demands of being a lineman. When there’s severe weather or if power goes out, they need to go above and beyond.
“The 7 to 3 shift every day, we’re doing the maintenance so when those storms hit, we don’t lose all these customers, so the maintenance really helps but then you’re working a lot more than the 7 to 3,” Ardis said.
Ardis has worked in the trades his whole career. Recently, however, he started doing work as a lineman and apprenticing at Ameren.
He hopes people understand the work that linemen do, day in and day out.
“There’s always one of us working, it’s great to be able to take that call in the middle of the night to come in, knowing you’re going to get somebody’s lights on, it’s a good feeling when you finish a job, completed and done safely,” he said.
Bretsch also said if you are interested in being a lineman, they have openings for apprenticeships. You can find those here.