Linemen reflect death in "brotherhood"

Linemen reflect death in "brotherhood"

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LUBBOCK, Texas - It's a dangerous line of work, even when the weather is calm. A utility lineman died last night while working to restore power in Hereford, Texas. 

"When it's this close to home, it hits a little closer to home, if you will," Lubbock Power & Light Transmission and Distribution Manager, Kip McCall said.

McCall and Lubbock Power & Light Power Line Foreman, Kody Morris, said linemen are part of a brotherhood across Texas, all understanding the dangers of the job. 

"What we do, there's not a lot of forgiveness in mistakes and sometimes our first mistake might be our last," McCall said.

The risk is even greater with high winds.

"It's harder to handle anything when you're 50, 60 feet in the air on a calm, nice, sunny day. When the wind's blowing 60 plus, things don't tend to hang straight, they want to sway and move, that includes these buckets that we're up in. They're not completely stationary up there. I think one of the biggest factors is being able to hear," McCall said.

"You can't hear," Morris said.

Lubbock Power & Light crews have safety precautions they take every day.

"Wearing all our PPE, our protection, rubber gloves, hard hats, the common things you'd think of, the equipment we use is huge, we use rubber blankets, guts hoses, but I'm going to say that probably the biggest factor is our training that goes into it and the experience behind it," McCall said.

It's all for a common goal.

"Our job is to get the lights back on and keep them on, our responsibility is to get our people home safe," Morris said.

Crews are still fixing broken poles. If you see one, stay away. The number to call for electric outages is 806-755-2509 and the number to call street light outages is 311.

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