Duke Energy joined electric utilities, customers, friends and families across the nation in recognizing National Lineman Appreciation Day, April 18, 2013. The U.S. Senate passed a resolution honoring line workers earlier last week. The bill was introduced by Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Duke Energy employs more than 5,000 line workers across its service territories. They work in extreme weather, wear protective equipment that can add up to 30 pounds, and can work as high as 200 ft in the air. The average tenure of a line worker is between 20 and 30 years, but some have been on the line for more than 40.

“Our linemen are often the silent heroes in our communities,” said Keith Trent, executive vice president and chief operations officer for Duke Energy’s regulated utility operations. “These men and women put their lives on the lines everyday – regardless of the weather -- to keep the lights on for millions of people throughout our six-state service area. It’s highly-skilled work that requires dedication, passion and continuous training. I applaud our country’s leaders for recognizing these brave individuals.”

Duke Energy’s linemen serve more than 7 million customers across the six states –North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. They frequently leave their homes to restore power for customers of other utilities in the aftermath of natural disasters. Nearly 2,900 Duke Energy linemen traveled to the Northeast after Hurricane Sandy to assist a dozen utilities in seven states.