LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Friday was Lineman Appreciation Day across the country. These are the people who keep the lights on in good times and bad. They are truly the backbone of any power company operation.
The trucks roll onto a quiet Long Beach street at 8am sharp. Bright orange cones are put in place, and the men working signs go up.
Before any work begins though, there is a safety briefing. Joey Ladner is a lead lineman.
"We're working with high voltage electricity and secondary low voltage electricity. That's why it's so important to put safety at the forefront, to discuss what we're doing, to have these job briefings," Ladner explained.
Then a brigade of bucket trucks rise to the occasion. Today's job, replace an old pole with a new one. It is delicate work.
And these crew members don't just work here in South Mississippi, according to Keith Guillot, a Mississippi Power spokesman.
"Over the last couple of years, we've sent storm crews and personnel to Dallas, Texas to assist with ice storm restoration, to the eastern seaboard and all throughout the southeast," Guillot said.
When the sun is shining and the weather is nice, and the power is on, we kind of all take that for granted. However, during times of disaster like Hurricane Katrina, we need that power quickly restored, and that's where these men really shine, Joey said.
"Many of the workers here lost their homes and we still has to come to work, we had to try and restore the electricity so many of our co-workers were under hardships from the hurricane themselves. We know how important electricity is to everyone."
Marty Ladner is another lead lineman.
"I like getting the lights on when people are out of lights, when they're in a time of need, needing their power, trying to get it back on for them."
And through it all, these crews grow very close, according to Marty.
"We're working with each more than we're with our families. We're with them so much, they're like a brother to us."
Brothers that hang together in high places, taking pride in brightening up your life.
There are 140 linemen that work for Mississippi Power and keep the power on for 186,000 customers. Other power companies that serve South Mississippi include Singing River Electric and Coast Electric Power Association