Bill to Recognize Utility Linemen as First Responders Introduced
When you live in a place that's been affected by two hurricanes in less than six weeks that's located in a state that has been affected by at least seven tropical cyclones in a span of five months you come to appreciate those who bring the power back online. Bringing back the lights, okay the air conditioning, and the lights are some of the first steps that have to be taken before the long road to recovery can begin.
Louisiana Senator John Kennedy has recognized the importance of utility linemen and technical crews in a bill he has authored and introduced that would align these professionals with a similar stature of more traditional first responders.
Do you want proof of what these line crews go through to get your power back?
The Homeland Security Act of 2002 granted first responder status to a number of occupations. As you might imagine police, fire, and medical personnel certainly qualify for this distinction. Senator Kennedy's bill suggests that utility line crews and the technical support teams that bring back the power should be included in that number.
I for one, agree. These ladies and gentlemen are often out in the immediate aftermath of some of the worst weather that Mother Nature can dish up. They also stay on the job in the heat, humidity, and insect swarms to make sure that hospitals, homes, and other important facilities have the power they need to care for those affected by the situation at hand.
Senator Kennedy's office estimates that some 8,300 utility line techs are working or have been working to restore the power to parts of Louisiana that were affected by this hurricane season's storms.
To those men and women and to their families that they leave behind to go out into the darkness to bring the lights back. Thank You. By the way, Senator Kennedy, if your office needs some grassroots support to push this measure through the swamps of D.C. you just let us know. We'll be there for our power crews just like they are always there for us.