Meet Team SEMO at Annual Meeting May 13 at Miner
By Sean J. Vanslyke
Are you prepared?
Severe storms are unfortunate and can be devastating. These storms can take down power lines to create a dangerous situation for all of us, including Team SEMO. How long it takes to get your power restored depends on the extent of the storm’s destruction, the number of outages, and when it becomes safe for Team SEMO to get to the damaged areas. It is important we prepare for severe weather, pay attention to meteorologists and listen to your gut. Take action to be safe and stay alive.
National studies consistently rank electric lineworkers among the most dangerous jobs in the country, and for good reason. Laboring high in the air wearing heavy equipment and working directly with high voltage creates the perfect storm of a dangerous and unforgiving profession. These brave men and women are committed to safety, as well as the challenges of the job. To perform their jobs successfully, lineworkers depend on their years of training and experience. To get the job done safely, lineworkers depend on co-workers in many other departments. It takes a team to get things done.
Team SEMO is responsible for keeping power and fiber flowing day and night, regardless of national holidays, vacations, birthdays, weddings or other important family milestones. Beyond the years of specialized training and apprenticeships, it takes internal fortitude and a mission-oriented outlook to be a member of Team SEMO. In fact, this service-oriented mentality is a hallmark characteristic of the team.
Equally important is their reliance on a strong support system at home. Team SEMO’s family members understand and supports their loved one’s commitment to the greater community during severe storms and power outages. This means in times of prolonged outages the family may have minimal communication for several days. Without strong family support and understanding, this challenging job would be all the more difficult.
Plus, Team SEMO’s mission-focused mentality of helping others often extends beyond their commitment to their work at the co-op. You may see Team SEMO as familiar figures in the community. They can be found coaching youth sports teams, volunteering for local charities and serving on local advisory boards. We are part of the communities we serve.
Monday, April 8 is Utility Worker Appreciation Day. Given the dedication of Team SEMO, both on and off the job, I encourage you to take a moment and acknowledge the many contributions they make to our local community. And if you see their family members in the grocery store or out and about in the town, please offer them a thank you as well.
SEMO Electric’s Annual Membership Meeting is set for Monday, May 13, 2019 at the Miner Convention Center. The doors will open at 5 p.m. for snacks and live music with Maggie Thorn. The business meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Please mark your calendar and come say hello to Team SEMO.
Book of the Month
“To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only obligation.” Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist
Be smart. Act safe.
Vanslyke is general manager and chief executive officer of SEMO Electric Cooperative. In the photo is Team SEMO with Smith System’s Rob Seabaugh, a fleet safety instructor.