Keeping America Powered: Meet Utility Workers Essential To Their Communities (Part 3)
See how Landon, Jack, and Jamil are keeping the lights on for their communities.
TPU | Tacoma, Washington
“It’s so rewarding to see the relief and enjoyment of people’s faces as I restore their power after a storm.”
For the past five years, Landon Taylor has worked as a Journeyman Lineman for Tacoma Public Utilities. His job takes him up all the utility poles in Tacoma, so not only does he enjoy a great view from his outdoor office, but he gets to work on the electrical transmission lines that keep his community powered. One of the most rewarding aspects of his job as a lineman is that Landon gets to help restore power after an extreme weather event. No matter the hour of the day, linemen are among some of the first to head back out into the community after a storm, hurricane, or tornado to get the power back up and running. Utilities do a significant amount of planning to prepare for natural disasters, but when a community is hit particularly hard, the industry bands together through the national mutual aid agreement and linemen like Landon travel to help restore power. Just as police officers, firefighters, and other first responders are there for their community when disaster strikes, so too are linemen. Landon doesn't hesitate to climb up a utility pole and work on transmission cables to get the lights back on for everyone.
General Superintendent of Substation Protection and Automation
IID | Imperial, CA
“Our role is essential. We keep the lights on and keep the energy flowing, and that has to run 24/7/365 all the time.”
A 20-year veteran of IID, Jack Dresher has advanced from a technician to general superintendent so he understands what it takes to keep the power flowing in California’s Imperial Valley. He and his team are responsible for not only taking care of the equipment that protects California’s electric grid, but also ensuring IID’s operators have visibility into what’s happening on the grid at all times. They’re truly essential to making sure the communities served by IID have reliable electricity around the clock. With this responsibility in mind, Jack implemented strict protocols at the beginning of the pandemic to ensure that his team did everything they could to remain safe while performing their essential duties.
Distribution Construction Leader
Austin Energy | Austin, TX
“We operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make sure Austin’s underground electric infrastructure is reliable and resilient.”
Jamil Kelly is part of a unique group of Austin Energy employees who protect the utility’s entire underground electric infrastructure network. As a Distribution Construction Leader within Austin Energy’s One Call Department, Jamil and his team field calls from the public as well as Austin Energy crews to assist with power outages and survey underground electric cable before excavation takes place. Austin Energy staff work year-round to keep the power flowing throughout Texas’ capital city, and Jamil’s team is no exception. Not only do they work to maintain Austin’s underground electric infrastructure to ensure it is resilient and reliable, they also stand ready to help restore power to thousands of homes and businesses when outages do occur.