The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) has designated the second Monday of each April as National Lineman Appreciation Day, in a move that marked the first time the NRECA Board has formally recognized a day honoring lineman. In 2015, that means the day will fall on April 13.
This isn’t the first time that strides have been made to recognize the lineman across America’s electric cooperatives; however, it is the first attempt made at implementing a lasting date.
In 2013, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution designating April 18 as National Lineman Appreciation Day, to recognize “the profession of Linemen, and the contributions of these brave men and women to protect public safety.” In 2014, only a House resolution to mark the day was introduced, and there was no congressional action taken to designate the day, leaving a number of electric cooperatives to unofficially designate the day for their lineman.
Following the lack of congressional action in 2014, the NRECA passed their own resolution in December of 2014, which the NRECA Board adopted unanimously.
“It gives us a rallying point for our linemen,” said Kerry Kelton, NRECA Texas Director, who presented the resolution to the board December 11 on behalf of the Government Relations Committee.
The resolution states that lineman deserve recognition as they “leave their families and put their lives on the line every day to keep the power on; work 365 days a year under dangerous conditions to build, maintain and repair the electric infrastructure; are the first responders of the electric cooperative family, getting power back on and making things safe for all after storms and accidents; and there would be no electric cooperatives without the brave men and women who comprise our corps of linemen.”
“Therefore be it resolved that NRECA recognize the Second Monday of April of each year as National Lineman Appreciation Day and make available to electric cooperatives, materials, and support to recognize the contributions of these valuable men and women to America’s Electric Cooperatives.”
On April 13, use #ThankALineman on Facebook and Twitter to show your appreciation for the men and women who come together, often in the most difficult weather and hazardous conditions, to provide the power that fuels our lives.
Note: Representative Tom Price (R-GA) introduced a House resolution in March of this year to once again recognize April 18, which falls on a Sunday this year, as National Lineman Appreciation Day; as of April 06, the resolution has been referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, and has not been passed.