When the power goes out, linemen become modern-day heroes. When disaster strikes, they strap on their personal protective equipment, arm themselves with the latest technologies and tools, and work until the job is done.

Ice-covered streets, downed electrical lines and frigid temperatures are no match for linemen who will do whatever they can to restore power to their customers. They battle the toughest conditions, put in long hours and don't let anything stand in the way of their duty to their company and their customers.

Over the last year, utility companies have responded to a wide range of emergencies — from a series of hurricanes to the most recent ice storm in the Northeast. No matter what the conditions are, linemen never give up, and they have pride in a job well done.

Electric Utility Operations: A Section Just For You

For the last five years, the Electric Utility Operations section has celebrated the work of linemen. This section, which goes out to 10,000 T&D World subscribers, is geared not toward utility executives and engineers, but rather linemen, foremen and field superintendents. In other words, it's designed for the men and women who work in the field rather than in the office.

If you're reading the pages of this section, you've most likely braved storms, faced extreme weather conditions and worked around the clock to restore power to your customers. The goal of Electric Utility Operations is to honor and recognize your work. By writing about how line crews are using the latest tools and technologies, we are also striving to help you to improve your productivity and be able to come home safely at the end of each day.

Share Your Stories

Over the last few years, I've met many of your peers at the International Linemen's Rodeo and Expo. By talking with these linemen and hearing their stories about their experiences in the field, I have learned about their devotion to their trade and their commitment to excellence. Over the next year, I hope to meet more of you and see first-hand what projects you are working on. I also want to learn about which issues keep them up at night and what drives you to get up and go to work each morning.

While you are always welcome to submit your own articles, the stories within the section are often the result of a team effort between our editors and the field personnel who often spend their days in the field rather than behind a computer. So, I am more than willing to be a resource. Just give me a call and tell me what you're up to, and I'll take it from there.

What's Ahead

As editor of Electric Utility Operations, I'm excited about the year ahead. We have planned many articles for 2009 on conductor cleaning, hybrid utility vehicles, fall protection and leadership. Contributing writer Rich Maxwell also has articles in the works including stories on boring and trenching, copper stealing, mobile field operations and power tools.

Beginning in 2009, I'm also proud to announce a few new additions to Electric Utility Operations. The first department will spotlight individuals, crews or companies that have overcome adversity to get the job done. Then the Parting Shot department will feature high-resolution photos taken in the field, along with a one-paragraph caption. If you have snapped a captivating photo of line workers in action, e-mail it to me, and it is likely to appear in a future issue.

We will continue to profile a different lineman each month in Life Line. If you have someone on your crew who is a leader, exemplifies the core values of your company and stands out from the rest of the team, please e-mail me with his or her photo and contact information. We also will bring you stories about the latest tools and technology in Field Applications, which explores how linemen are using a particular product to improve productivity in the field. Finally, we will highlight safety issues in our Safety Talk department, which is a how-to article that gives tips on improving safety when performing line work.

As we did last year, we will include feature stories on electric transmission projects, best practices in the field, and companies that have made a difference in the industry through an invention or by using technology in an innovative way.

We Want To Hear From You

As we look forward to the new year, we are working to continue to provide stories that are relevant, informative and practical. We want to design this section for you — the field professional — and make it a must-read each and every month.

I know that everyone has a story to tell, and I want to hear yours. Give me a call at 913-385-7725 or e-mail me at afischbach@tdworld.com. I look forward to hearing from you.