MECA’s safety training workshop has been a cornerstone event in the lineworker community, bringing together seasoned professionals from various utilities. The purpose of the training is to provide a platform for continuing education that is often hard to come by once a lineworker finishes their initial training. The lineworkers, despite working for different utilities, are united by a common goal and skill set, and the workshop fosters a sense of camaraderie among them.

“The training is a great way for the linemen, no matter which utility they are from, to collaborate and work together,” said coordinator and MECA Safety and Loss Control Instructor, Tom Ulatowski. “By sharing their experiences, they become better at what they do and create a real brotherhood with one another.”

Divided into teams from different utilities, they embarked on a blend of fieldwork, which included impressive climbs and relay events that tested their skills and agility, as well as classroom learning from experts in a variety of industries. The workshop was more than just honing skills; it was about cultivating a tight-knit community where they could share experiences, learn from industry experts and vendors, and bring new knowledge and techniques back to their respective utilities.

Kudos to MECA lineworkers that participated in this year’s training: Brandon Lind, Tom Viitala (Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Assoc.), Jeff Puffer, Brad Norton, Jon Swanson (Cherryland Electric Cooperative), Tyler Castagne, Jares Cece, Jonah Sprague (Cloverland Electric), Kyle Balderson, Jeremy McVeigh (HomeWorks Tri-county Electric), Matthew Adams, Garrett Adams (Midwest Energy & Communications), Jacob Waun, and Dan Land (Thumb Electric Cooperative).

A very special thank you to the presenters and vendors who helped make the workshop both informative and successful:

  • Keith Bandli (Fresh Coast Movement) Importance of Strength Training and Stretching
  • Dave Deinek (BDL & Associates) Utility Solutions Equipotential Grounding Board
  • Steve Knutsen (Federated Rural Insurance) Hazard Recognition
  • John Giancanelli (Hastings Fiberglass) Hot Stick Care & Maintenance
  • Brad Hilliard (Powerline Supply) and Betsy Evenson (Bulwark) Fire Repellent Garment Care & Maintenance