• Vincent Leal
    Los Angeles Local 18

    Recovering from disasters is when lineworkers get the most attention, but preventing disaster is just as important. In the winter of 2017, Los Angeles Local 18 members Carlos Menjivar and Vincent Leal were in Napa, Calif., washing ash off insulators. In rain storms, excessive ash can create a conductive path that can burn down poles.

  • Jordan Skarda
    Vacaville, Calif., Local 1245

    At the end of a 30-hour shift, Local 1245 members Jordan Skarda, KC Nancolas and Kevin Claggett got the call for one more job – an emergency repair in Cayucos, a coastal area between Los Angeles and San Francisco. With the sun already on its descent, the crew got a helicopter to help them locate the pole and repair the open jumper. Sensing it would be a great shot, Skarda ran up a nearby hill and captured the moment, one that he says shows the beautiful backdrops as well as the solidarity among the linemen.

  • Jordan Skarda
    Vacaville, Calif., Local 1245

    Local 1245 members Clayton Smith and Mark Ulm were doing some routine maintenance in Cayucos, a coastal area roughly equidistant between San Francisco and Los Angeles, when IBEW brother Jordan Skarda snapped this photo. Taken Dec. 28, 2017, he, Smith and Ulm had to climb some pretty inaccessible 70 kilovolt poles and change the vibration dampers. For Skarda, the photo shows the level of trust that’s shared – and necessary – for doing such dangerous work as well as the picturesque landscapes where they often ply their trade.

  • Joe Sergi
    New York Local 3

    New York City has some of the most famous bridges in the world, but one of the least known –the Throgs Neck Bridge – has one of the best views. Local 3 member Joe Sergi captured brothers Ernest Cordero and Todd Kim installing an upgraded security system on the easternmost link between the Bronx and Long Island.

  • Joseph Kelly
    Boston Local 103

    “Smile!” That’s what Local 103 steward Joe Kelly said to journeymen wiremen Robert DeLeo, left, Steve Illingworth, center, and Gary Rowe as they sat on a gantry crane 40 feet in the air on a frigid February day in Salem, Mass. With the wind chill, it felt like it was 20 below zero. But the guys got the work done. Kelly said Illingworth is one of a handful of Local 103 members who can do the type of welding required at the Salem Harbor Energy Center, a job that involves welding notoriously tricky aluminum.

  • Pablo Baxter
    Madison, Wisc., Local 159

    Third-year apprentice inside wireman Pablo Baxter serves as RENEW co-chair and apprentice representative for Local 159. He took this photo of wind turbines near Madison on his Samsung Galaxy S7, impressed by “the massiveness of the structures compared to the relatively flat landscape they stand in.” A photographer for the past decade, Baxter said he enjoys shooting a wide range of subjects while specializing in live music events.

  • Nicholas Rains
    Vacaville, Calif., Local 1245

    For 47 days and nights in early 2017, Local 1245 journeyman lineman Nicholas Rains went from one pole to the next as “Stormageddon” pummeled the Lake Tahoe area. He captured this scene around 2 a.m. one night as his crew worked along a residential road on the California side of South Lake Tahoe. “The storm was so violent,” Rains said. “The trees were so snow-loaded, it was so cold out, your nose was purple, any exposed skin was hurting so bad.” But camaraderie helped keep their spirits up, even generating moments of laughter and fun. “Everyone made the best of it,” he said. “We were really loving our job.”

  • Joseph Dykhoff
    Minneapolis Local 160

    Journeyman lineman Joe Dykhoff was one of tens of thousands of line workers and tree-trimmers who came from as far away as British Columbia to help restore Florida’s power after Hurricane Irma ripped up the coast in September 2017. “It was hot,” he recalled, especially after long days picking up wire and straightening poles. But early one morning, Dykhoff arrived at his truck just as the sun was rising, its light struggling to break through the clouds. He grabbed his smartphone, climbed to the edge of his bucket truck’s boom and captured this rare moment of peaceful beauty nearly 1,300 miles from home. Then he and his crewmates were off for another long day of work.

  • James Uerling
    Tacoma, Wash., Local 483

    It was James Uerling’s turn to hold the handline while his crewmates David Pahlman and apprentice Ray Edwards worked above him at the top of a utility pole. In October 2017, the three men were among hundreds who’d been called in to assist with power restoration after the Tubbs wildfire ripped through California’s Napa and Sonoma counties. As the safely-anchored Uerling observed the work above, noting the way the trees, sky and power lines framed his co-workers, he used his smartphone’s camera to capture his point-of-view. “I was waiting for David and Ray to finish some service work, and I thought this would be kind of a cool photo,” he said.

  • Christina Daniels
    Portland, Ore., Local 48

    June 9 marked the first appearance by an IBEW contingent in the annual Grand Floral Parade that travels a four-mile route through downtown Portland. The parade has a “Salute to Service” section dedicated to those who have served in the U.S. armed forces. “Our idea was to have a group of tradeswomen marching near the veterans,” said Local 48 member Christina Daniels. Nearly four dozen women from the local dressed up as the iconic World War II poster model “Rosie the Riveter.” Daniels captured this shot of an enthusiastic “Rosie,” Local 48 apprentice Jessica Hill, during a pre-parade warmup at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum. “This event really opened things up for us,” Daniels said. “It helped us connect with members we don’t usually connect with, and it really jumpstarted their participation.”

  • Rolando Solis
    Vacaville, Calif., Local 1245

    Rolando Solis, a 23-year member of Local 1245, was at the top of a hill when he took this photo of fellow Pacific Gas & Electric employees installing a new electrical pole following the Mendocino Complex Fire in the summer of 2018. The largest recorded complex fire in California’s history, it destroyed more than 450,000 acres before being extinguished. Solis said he likes how the photo shows off the professionalism of Local 1245 members and PG&E, where he works as an electrical supervisor. “There’s one guy on the pole and one up in the bucket,” he said. “The American flag is waving straight out, and you can see the PG&E logo. I really like that.”

  • Justin Swinkunas
    West Frankfort, Ill., Local 702

    An outside construction lineman working for Miller Construction, Justin Swinkunas was in a boat on Rend Lake in southern Illinois when he used his iPhone to take this picture of an Ameren substation. He was part of a crew building a new conductor and repairing lines that stretched across and around the lake for 22 miles. Rend Lake is man-made and tree stumps emerge from beneath the surface in parts where the water isn’t especially deep. Swinkunas estimates that he and his colleagues were sometimes as high as 140 feet above the water in their climbing gear and baskets while working. Their equipment was on small islands or barges across the lake.

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