Linemen have been an integral part of building our communities for the last 100 years. Many linemen families have worked in the industry for generations and take great pride in providing services right here in Lakeland. August 26th is Florida Lineworker Appreciation Day.

For the month of August, electric utilities across the state will be honoring the men and women who work tirelessly in varying conditions to make sure our lights stay on. When most of the population takes shelter, linemen crews head out to restore power, often leaving behind their families to respond to the needs of the community.

The month of August brings back memories for many of us in Lakeland as the kickoff to one of the worst hurricane seasons experienced in Polk County. In 2004, Central Florida was bombarded by Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. It seems fitting that at the height of hurricane season, the State of Florida and Lakeland Electric recognize those who work relentlessly to restore order after the chaos of the storm has cleared.

Considered a highly dangerous profession, Linemen risk their lives every day to keep communities safe. During storm season, however, the stakes can seem much higher. Utilities, like Lakeland Electric, have a responsibility to restore power to those who provide essential services to the community, such as hospitals, police stations and fire departments. We couldn’t accomplish this task without our Linemen.

Linemen work any hour of the day in hazardous conditions to ensure the community’s electrical power remains dependable and sustainable. Linemen are first responders in the truest sense. Often, other first responders are unable to perform their duties until after linemen have removed any electricity hazard at the scene of an emergency.

As we prepare to celebrate Florida Lineworker Appreciation Day on Aug. 26, Platform Art, a non-profit creative and cultural organization in Lakeland, will be commissioning a Linemen Public Art Sculpture to be displayed here. In working with the Highline Heroes Foundation, Polk County School Board, the City of Lakeland, and Lakeland Electric on the sculpture, Platform Art will bring recognition to those who have served as linemen in the past and those who are currently serving at Lakeland Electric, preserving history along the way. This sculpture will beautify our city and will be placed and dedicated by June 30, 2018.

Be sure to thank a linemen this month!

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