Safety First for These Journeymen and Their Families

This year’s annual Lineman’s Rodeo was a time to compete, but also to focus on safety and the importance of family.

June 11, 2014 | By Caroline Aoyagi-Stom @SCE_CarolineA

As a young kid growing up in Chicago, Jason Jones knew at an early age that he wanted to be a lineman.

“As a little kid, I always saw them and just thought it was a cool job,” he said. “My family had always done it; it’s been in the family. I love it and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”

Having gained some experience at other utilities around the country, Jason is now an e-crew foreman in South Bay for Southern California Edison (SCE). And he was recently part of Team No. 88 representing SCE at this year’s Lineman’s Rodeo.

Like many of the lineman, troubleman and apprentices who took part in this year’s annual competition, Jason brought along his family. His daughter Kennedy and wife Carrie watched him compete and also took part in the day-long event that included a 5-K Walk, carnival games and a barbecue.

Video Credit: Joe Foulk
SCE Lineman Jason Jones attends the recent Lineman's Rodeo with his wife Carrie and daughter Kennedy. 

The motto “Be Safe. Always.” was echoed by those attending the rodeo, many of them employees in SCE’s Transmission & Distribution department where the message is rooted deep.

Working safely is a top priority for Jason.

“I want to make sure I can go into work every day, but it’s really so I can come home to these two every night,” he said, as he held his daughter and hugged his wife.

And when asked what it means to work safely in a crew with his fellow lineman, he got a bit emotional.

“Nobody wants to be the one that has to go to someone’s house and tell their family that they are not coming home,” said Jason. “When you know each other’s family, you want to take care of each other and stay safe.”

Jason’s wife Carrie echoed the thoughts of other lineman wives.

“We are constantly praying for him and always reminding him to obviously always be safe,” she said. “Work hard not just for us, but for all the other families that these workers are going home to.”

As an SCE lineman apprentice in the North Coast Heavy Crew, Richard Doll is often travelling for work and away from his wife Nicole, daughter Isabella and son Alex. So he cherishes the moments he has with his family.

“The few times I do have with them … those are the moments you think of,” he said.

Richard echoed Jason’s thoughts about his co-workers and the feeling of “My Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper.”

“You definitely want to make sure you are treating them like you want them to treat you,” he said. “If safety is going to be a factor and you shouldn’t continue, you want that person to stop it because you spend so much time with those guys on that crew, they are pretty much your family … you would think they would do the same thing just like you would do for them.”

SCE’s journeyman teams competed against other utilities, including LADWP, Portland General Electric and APS Company. The competition included pole climbing, dead end insulator change out and hurtman rescue. The official results of the 2014 Lineman’s Rodeo are listed here.

Some of the winning SCE journeyman teams and apprentices will be selected to represent SCE at this year’s International Lineman’s Rodeo in Kansas City on Oct. 18.

“It’s great to see so many employees and their families and the people they care about out here today and really exemplifying our focus on safety,” said Pete Dietrich, SCE senior vice president of Transmission & Distribution.

“Be safe always is the company safety theme and company safety campaign and I think you see it in what our people do every day and the way our company supports our people even here during some off time. I encourage everyone to be safe always.”

2014 Lineman's Rodeo Video 

Topics: People, Safety