AEP crews dedicated to job

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 13, 2014

It’s Friday evening. The work week is done. Plans have been made to enjoy a few days of free time.

Unless you happen to work for AEP. These guys don’t bother to make plans.

Last Friday at approximately 5:30 pm, a fallen tree at Lawco Lake altered the evening for approximately eight AEP workers. The tree that fell sent live wires to the ground. In a very short period of time, former Ironton and current South Point resident Eric Rawlins was on the scene with his crew.

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While some people were hoisting frosty beverages at Buffalo Wild Wings or enjoying family time with the wife and kids, these men were improvising for the sake of other people’s safety. The line that snapped ended up in the lake.

A fishing boat with a trolling motor was used to pull the damaged line from the water. Then, after the crew spent hours attempting to restore power to Lawco residents, the line snapped again. By this time, it was dark.

After a “Dang it!” from Rawlins echoed across the lake, flashlights and bucket truck lights fired up and the crew started all over again. Back into the water they went. Any hopes these guys had of enjoying some free time after work fell to the bottom of Lawco Lake with that line.

At least one of these men likely had hopes of spending that Friday evening with his family. One or more probably has a child who had a baseball or softball game early Saturday morning. Despite the financial benefits of overtime, most of them probably woke up Friday morning hoping for an incident-free day that, like so many of their other work days, didn’t happen.

Six hours later, at 11:30 p.m., power was restored and this crew was finally able to head home to their lives outside of work. Sixteen-hour work days are the norm for this bunch.

I wrote about these guys a few years ago when a derecho wind blasted our area and cut power to the entire northeast. I’m spoiled by my Monday through Friday schedule and can’t imagine the emotional toll of being on call 24/7.

When the power goes out, the inconvenience for us, as customers, is time without the luxury of electricity…one of the many things we take for granted until it is no longer available. But as we focus on our own inconveniences, I doubt most of us recognize the sacrifices these workers make to restore normalcy to our lives.

Tonight, yet again, I witnessed a group of men willing to do anything to get the job done….including giving up what they would really love to be doing simply to ensure my conveniences are met.

Kudos to this group of dedicated AEP workers. After watching them work tonight, I have an even greater appreciation for everything they do.


Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at