Ideally, we should appreciate our lineworkers every day for the way they toil in darkness, in rain, in ice and in all kinds of unsavory conditions to keep the lights on.

But the special National Lineworker Appreciation Day is coming up, and that’s reason to take a special moment to thank lineworkers for all that they do.

Many co-ops will observe National Lineman Appreciation Day on April 11, pursuant to a 2014 directive from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Board of Directors that sets aside the second Monday in April for the observance.

Other utilities recognize a fixed date of April 18, the residue of legislation that cleared the U.S. Senate in 2013.

Brian Mosier, president and CEO of the VMD Association, said it’s the perfect time to recognize the contribution of lineworkers, especially considering the hundreds of in-state and mutual-aid personnel who helped restore power in the wake of the January storm that devastated several co-op systems.

“Lineworkers are the heart of our electric cooperatives,” he said. “They’re first responders in our community, working to ensure our members have safe and reliable service.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 6,500 men and women are employed as power line installers and repairers in our three-state region.

Many co-ops publish social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter thanking lineworkers for their service under the hashtag #ThankALineworker. A quick video or two of a lineworker explaining daily duties makes an intriguing addition to social media or websites. Others honor their brave workers with a special breakfast or lunch in each of their regions, even carrying the food into the field as a surprise. VMD staff has several resources available and can customize social media posts on request.

—Report by Steven Johnson, Vice President, Communications