All on the Line: Lineman Appreciation Day 2021
Lineman Appreciation Day, celebrated on April 18th, is a time to reflect and acknowledge the brave men and women who put it all on the line. We at Gresco, are grateful to have salespeople, warehouse workers, and product specialists who are more knowledgeable in their fields today because of their time spent as a lineman. Former lineman and now Tool & Line Services Representative, Jimmy Ash (Gresco Florida location), recalls his time spent in the field.
Q: Where were you a former lineman and how many years were you a lineman?
Jimmy: I was a lineman for 19 years. During this time, I worked at Jackson EMC (Georgia), Xcel Energy (Colorado), Florida Keys Cooperative.
Q: Has being a former lineman helped you in your career with Gresco now?
Jimmy: Yes, as a lineman I have first-hand knowledge of the tools and material that we offer to our customers. Working for multiple utilities and performing storm restoration across the country, I have had the opportunity to use many different brands of tools, equipment, and materials. With this experience, I can speak to the pros and cons on each. My knowledge of work and safety procedures affords me the insight to anticipate customer needs and offer solutions in day-to-day operations, which include safety, training, and productivity. I know having the right tools and equipment for the job and knowing the proper use of these items is a necessity to ensure all lineman return home safely to their families.
Q: What advice would you give to linemen today?
Jimmy: First and foremost, I would advise young people to go into linework. This is an exciting and rewarding career where you become part of a brotherhood of workers. As for linemen in the industry today, I would advise these men and women to always keep a safety-first mentality, as safety standards are written in blood. Although the work can be strenuous and nerve-racking, the challenges to adapt and push through are great life lessons. I would suggest for linemen to never stop learning. Remember you are your brother’s keeper, teach by example and mentor others along the way.
Q: What is something you miss most about being a lineman?
Jimmy: There are many things that I miss about being a lineman, quite simply, I miss the work itself. But of the things that come to mind right away, is the comradery, working in the elements and different terrains, the constantly changing demands, climbing, working at heights, troubleshooting, the feeling of accomplishment when power is restored after a storm, and seeing my contribution in bringing business and residential areas to life.
Here’s to the brave men and women who leave behind comfort to bring light, warmth, and ease to everyone else! Your commitment does not go unnoticed. We greatly appreciate you.
Recognizing Gresco’s Former Linemen
Jimmy Ash (FL Tool & Line Services Representative)
- 2 years at Red Simpson in Georgia
- 11 years at Jackson EMC in Georgia
- 3 years at Xcel Energy in Colorado
- 4 years at Florida Keys Electric Cooperative: 1 year on line crew and 3 as Safety Manager
Carl Blocker (MS Account Manager)
Over 32 years at Central EPA in Mississippi:
- 6 years as Lineman
- 2 years as Serviceman, then spent time in the engineering department and member services before finally becoming an Assistant Manager before retiring from Central EPA
Jason Chandler (Sales Director – Tool & Safety Solutions)
- 13 years in line construction, starting as a Groundman
- 11.5 years at Pike Electric: spent 10.5 of those years working at GreyStone Power in Douglasville, Georgia
- Finished career as a Foreman before pursuing Sales
Mark Dennis (Director, Solar & EV Solutions)
- 14 years at Little Ocmulgee EMC
- Line crew for 9 years, finally becoming a First Class Lineman before moving into Purchasing and also Safety Coordinator
Michael Reinbott (South Florida Tool & Line Representative)
- 8 years with Pike Electric as a Lineman
- 20 years with Lee County Electrical Co-op: 5 years as a Lead Lineman and remaining 15 years as Operations Supervisor over the line department
Cliff Stitcher (GA Account Manager)
- 18 years at Rayle EMC
- Began as an apprentice on the Hot Crew in 1988. Trained/studied in the TVPPA program and made Journeyman Lineman. Finished career as a Purchasing Agent and in Safety
- 3.5 years at Georgia EMC Safety as an Instructor and Certified Loss Control Professional for the EMCs