My boss is stuck in Atlanta for yet another day after visiting some customers at IPPE, thanks to the snow.  This winter’s severe cold weather has reminded me of the men and women who work hard to keep power on so we can keep our homes warm, and who brave crazy conditions to repair power during outages.

Earlier this fall, Chad and I went to Kansas City to cheer on a friend in the International Lineman’s Rodeo. There’s no broncs and blood in this rodeo, just talented (and kinda crazy) teams of linemen competing in challenges that simulate experiences they face every day.  Luckily, the weather was nice and the sky blue.

Lineman 5

Say hi to Shannon!  Her husband is a lineman, and she’s a photographer and freelance marketing guru – she does a lot of great work with the Kansas chapter of Common Ground.

Lineman 3

Buckets were used in some of the competitions, but not all weather conditions or terrain allow for buckets, so they have to know how to free climb, too.

Lineman 2

This is Cody and his brother, also a lineman, working to restore (fake) power during a speed competition.  They’re wearing harnesses and shoe spikes, but no other safety wires.  Crazy, I tell you.  But they love it, and they’re really good at what they do.

Lineman 1

One of the competitions even included a safety rescue of a dummy lineman who was injured on the pole.

Lineman 4

I don’t usually consider myself scared of heights, but wow – I think I’ll pass!

Stay warm, everyone – and think of the linemen who keep you nice and toasty in the winter.