Sunday, October 1, 2017

It’s Public Power Week – Thank a lineman

It’s Public Power Week – Thank a lineman.

When power goes out, your first thought will likely go to what’s in the fridge that could go bad, or maybe how hot or cold the house will get if the power’s off for long.

During a weather emergency, it can be easy to overlook the hundreds of highly trained men and women who are ready to be out in the elements. When we are safe in our homes during a storm, the linemen are out in the field while the utility directors and staff back at home base are also using their training and expertise to get power back on.

The week of October 1 is recognized as Public Power Week. In South Carolina, 170,000 residential and business customers in 21 cities and towns receive their power from municipal power systems range from in size from 360 to 37,000 customers.

This article from this month's issue of Uptown illustrates how municipal public power systems bring value to their communities.

All 21 municipal power systems are members of an affiliate organization of the Municipal Association called the South Carolina Association of Municipal Power Systems. SCAMPS was founded more than
38 years ago to provide mutual aid to fellow cities in times of emergency in situations like we have experienced recently with Irma. SCAMPS has now grown to also include training and advocacy.

We know what these utility workers have to do in an emergency. Want to know more about what a utility director does on a regular day? Read this article from Uptown to get a sense of the variety of responsibilities a utility director has.

Linemen are also important players in the utility business. Each year, SCAMPS sponsors a lineman training event and competition for member cities. Read more about the various events in this Uptown article.

This blog post from the week after Irma tells the story of several SCAMPS member-utilities that sent crews to Georgia and Florida (scroll to the bottom of the post). 

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