Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. celebrates the profession of electrical linemen this week during National Lineman Appreciation Day. He honors all Virgin Islanders who are WAPA line personnel and linemen who remained in the territory following the 2017 hurricanes for their exemplary service to the territory and its residents.
This profession requires skill, knowledge, passion, dedication, ongoing training and a willingness to be on call 24 hours a day to keep the two independent electrical grids energized on St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix and Water Island, 365 days a year.
“Linemen play a vital role in ensuring a quality of life for Virgin Islanders by maintaining our electrical infrastructure. They put their lives on the line every day,” Bryan said. “The people of the U.S. Virgin Islands owe a great debt to the linemen working on each island for their hard work and especially their work to restore electricity to our homes, hospitals, schools and businesses after the territory was affected by two catastrophic Category-five hurricanes in September of 2017.”
The U.S. Virgin Islands has weathered storms for decades, and it recognizes linemen as first responders during extreme weather events like hurricanes. Residents rely on linemen in the immediate aftermath of unpredictable natural disasters like an earthquake or tsunami.
On National Lineman Appreciation Day, the governor is encouraging residents to reflect on the hard work these men and women did to quickly restore electricity on each island before Christmas in 2017.