Tampa Electric’s more than 700,000 customers have a brand-new group of company team members on the front lines to help ensure power reliability.
Called journeymen, the six linemen and five substation electricians graduated from Tampa Electric’s renowned training program on April 24. With four years of detailed technical training, the strength to scale utility poles and work with heavy equipment – and above all, a focus on safety first – they’re the ones who will keep working until power is back on after an outage.
“We always take incredible pride at the ones with the dedication to complete the Power Pros program, and with this group, it’s no different,” said Steve Dosal, manager of Electric Delivery, Safety, Training and Environmental and a former lineman himself. “It’s a great job and a great way to start at TECO – I consider myself one of many at the company who’s proof of that.”
The journeymen began their training program as apprentices, shadowing veteran linemen and substation electricians and spending more than 725 hours in the classroom to understand every facet of safety around electricity and how it travels to serve customers in the community.
In addition to the day-to-day duties across Tampa Electric’s 12,500 miles of transmission and distribution lines – a system that includes more than 421,000 poles – journeymen will, if needed, help other utilities restore power under the mutual assistance pact Tampa Electric is part of through its membership in the Southeastern Electric Exchange. (Likewise, if Tampa Electric’s service area faces a weather emergency, crews from other utilities will join ours here to help restore power.)
But in the calm of a Tampa restaurant on April 24, overlooking the city from the top floors of a downtown high rise, the new journeymen celebrated their achievement with their partners, trainers and other TECO leaders including Bill Whale, senior vice president of Electric & Gas Delivery, who gave the keynote address.
Dosal then reminded the journeymen to look out for each other and to be safe above all else. He reinforced the value of their training to get the job done. He said their jobs are among the most important in the community.
“Look out that window,” Dosal told the graduates, pointing out at the glimmering city outside. “Look at those lights. You keep them lit.”
Congratulations to the new journeymen: