Pat O’Loughlin, president & CEO of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives

If you’ve read this magazine for long enough, you get the idea that we respect, even admire, the people whose job it is to go out every day and keep our lights on. The lineworkers who represent each of the 24 electric cooperatives in our state are the first responders of the cooperative world. They are a dedicated, self-sacrificing bunch who do not flinch when the call goes out — any time of day, any season of the year.

Lineworker Appreciation Day is April 13. The next time you flip a switch to bring a dark room to life, power up your cellphone or iPad, or even enjoy a hot shower in the morning, remember the people who power your co-op. The dedication of the lineworkers — and the entire co-op staff — to keeping your lights on is remarkable, and it’s genuine.

In March, a group of Ohio lineworkers volunteered to leave the safety and security of their hometowns and share that skill and dedication with the 634 residents of Tierra Blanca Sebol, a tiny village in Guatemala. It was the third time an Ohio group has made such a trip — Ohio co-op lineworkers also electrified Guatemalan villages in 2016 and 2018 — and while neither of the previous ventures could be described as coming off without a hitch, this trip was especially complicated. Because the group’s status was evolving and things were still being sorted out while this issue of Ohio Cooperative Living was being printed, we’ll give everyone a more detailed account of the trip in the May magazine.

Meanwhile, back here in Ohio, we know as we always have that we can count on our lineworkers when there’s trouble — big or small — and we’re proud of and grateful for these heroes every time they answer the call.

Thanks to our lineworkers, for what they do for us each and every day.