Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 22
Thank a lineman
Specialty-plate purchases honor lineworkers while supporting a worthy cause
very day, electric line personnel stand ready to respond at short notice to restore power, remove trees
that have fallen on power lines and even endure
snowstorms and ice storms to get electricity flowing again.
To honor these hard-working employees, Georgia
Electric Membership Corp. led efforts that included Georgia Power, Electric Cities of Georgia and lawmakers to recognize the contributions of lineworkers across the state.
Sponsored in the Georgia House of Representatives
by Rep. Alan Powell (R-Hartwell) and carried in the Senate by Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), House Bill 260
provides for a specialty license plate honoring Georgia's
electric utility lineworkers. It was signed into law by Gov.
Nathan Deal in May. Proceeds from the sale of the "Thank
a Lineman" plates will benefit the families of burn patients
through the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation
(SFBF) in Augusta.
The Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in
Augusta is a premier facility for treating burn injuries, and
the SFBF provides support to families of burn patients at
the center. The foundation provides a place for patients'
families to stay at the Chavis House, just a few steps from
Doctors Hospital, as well as meals and transportation to
and from the hospital. After patients are discharged, the
SFBF provides medication, anti-scarring garments and
transportation to follow-up doctor visits.
Jefferson Energy Cooperative in Wrens has raised
funds for the SFBF for several years through its Jefferson
Energy Golf Classic, employee contributions and donations of some of the co-op's unclaimed capital credit funds.
Marietta-based Cobb Electric Membership Corp.
(EMC) has been involved with firefighters and other emergency personnel throughout its service area for many
years. The EMC holds an annual first responders luncheon
each October and supports the Cobb Chamber of Commerce's public safety awards.
"Our local public service personnel make our community a better place for all of us," says Leslie Thompson,
director of Member and Public Relations at Cobb EMC.
"Each year, we look forward to honoring first responders at our Five Alarm Luncheon and law enforcement at
our Steak Out Luncheon, along with sponsoring the Cobb
chamber's annual Public Safety Appreciation Breakfast.
Most of all, we want them to know, when they go to work
each morning, that there's a community behind them who
is thankful for them every day."
As this issue of GEORGIA Magazine went to press, Tropical Storm
Irma was causing historically high power outages statewide.
Hundreds of additional linemen from states as far away as Iowa,
Illinois and Oklahoma worked alongside Georgia's EMC linemen
in the massive restoration effort. We owe extra thanks to all linemen, especially in times like these.
BY JIM JESS
Lt. Jeff Robinson, of Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services, left,
and 1st Class Lineman (Step 2) Rickey Crutchley, of Cobb EMC, hold
a sample of the new specialty license plate in front of Cobb Fire Station 20 in Marietta.
When live wires are on the ground after a car crashes
into a utility pole or after a house fire, or when severe
weather brings power lines down across a roadway, one
of the first calls made by fire departments and law enforcement is to EMC lineworkers. First responders and
lineworkers have closely related missions.
Efforts like those at Jefferson Energy Cooperative and
Cobb EMC to honor emergency personnel and the foundations that serve them are a hallmark of electric membership cooperatives' "commitment to community," a principle important to EMCs in Georgia and around the nation.
Georgians who are interested in purchasing a "Thank a
Lineman" specialty license plate can visit bit.ly/gaprstgp
and select it when registering a vehicle.
Jim Jess is an associate editor for GEORGIA Magazine.
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org