Submitted by National Grid:
If ever you wonder who’s behind keeping your lights on, especially during the challenges of the pandemic, the answer is National Grid’s electricity field force. These men and women are a special group of people who perform extraordinary work in some of the toughest conditions. Never has their commitment to our customers been more tested than now and their unwavering support and willingness to go above and beyond continues to make us proud to once again celebrate National Lineworker Appreciation Day (which was July 10).
Every day, thousands of National Grid electricity workers design, build, maintain and repair overhead and underground electricity lines and substations and perform a host of other essential functions that enable 10 million people to power virtually every aspect of their lives. They are central to maintaining over 100,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines across more than 30,000 square miles in upstate New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
This highly skilled team is working night and day during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure safe, reliable energy delivery for all our customers, including the hospitals and emergency responders caring for those affected, the pharmaceutical companies working to find a vaccine, and families who are navigating working and schooling from their homes.
They also head out into the harshest of weather conditions, working around the clock through weekends and holidays to restore power to millions of customers after damaging storms batter our system. This dedicated field force protects public safety and repairs poles, cables, substations and other electricity equipment, all with an eye toward restoring power quickly and as safely as possible for our customers.
As a result of their exceptional performance in restoring power, the Edison Electric Institute recognized National Grid in June with our 26th Emergency Response Award since 1998.
“As they always do, it’s our electricity field force that answers the call at a time of greatest need. They are the heroes you may not see, but know they are always there,” said Chris Kelly, National Grid’s chief operating officer – electric. “National Lineworker Appreciation Day is one way we thank our electricity field force for their valuable expertise and for making sure our customers’ needs are met. Their work is at the heart of delivering safe and reliable electricity, and in emergency situations they also act as first responders, working hand-in-hand with public safety officials to protect the millions of people we serve. We are proud of the work they deliver today and every day.”
Lineworkers Going Above & Beyond
Some members of our National Grid field force have found themselves needing to make quick, heroic decisions that have meant the difference between life and death. Many are putting their lives in danger every day, while others happen to be in the right place at the right time and were moved to perform acts of kindness. Here are a few examples:
In Syracuse, the training as a volunteer firefighter and dive team member proves vital during two emergencies.
An Olean chief service representative discovers that giving is a family affair.
An Albany customer meter services employee brightens a child’s day.
In Smithfield, Rhode Island, a line crew is praised by first responders for rushing to help two civilians involved in an auto accident.
As the COVID-19 crisis amped up, a line crew raced to help get a COVID testing site powered up in Rhode Island.
In Worcester, Massachusetts, a National Grid worker saved his colleague from choking to death.
Town officials from Rockland, Abington, Hanover and Norwell (Massachusetts) got an up-close look at the dangers our line workers face every day.
All of these workers exemplify National Grid’s commitment to the customers and communities it serves by giving back to those in need and unselfish acts in crisis situations that ultimately saved others.