MCKEE, SOMERSET, NICHOLASVILLE
Brent, Trevor and Josh Johnson are brothers. They are energetic when together, protective of one another and competitive about everything. But there is another truth that binds them: They are all line technicians at electric cooperatives around the state.
Brent, who works for Jackson Energy, recalls, “I tried to be a lineman right out of high school, but I ended up going into the military.”
After his military service and before his current job, he was a lineworker for several organizations, including Blue Grass Energy. “I’ve been doing this for 12–13 years now,” he says.
Brent is up to the challenges of the job—like big storms.
“The last big ice storm we had, we worked around the clock to get electricity back on,” he says. “Trees were falling all around us while we were up on poles with half an inch of ice around them. But the church members made lunch for us every day. We just came together as a community.”
Brent enjoyed his job so much he kept suggesting that his brothers find a similar one.
Josh was working in a factory. “I had to do the same thing over and over at work every day,” he says. “It was monotonous and boring.”
Now at South Kentucky RECC, Josh says, “Every day is challenging, and I never do the same thing two days in a row.”
He says his strongest memory of making a difference was in Louisiana, where members of his co-op went to help after Hurricane Ida.
“The people were so grateful,” he recalls. “They would do anything to help us. It is very rewarding.”
Trevor got the message, too, and became a line technician the same time as Josh.
“I love everything about it,” he says of his job at Blue Grass Energy. “Helping people, being outside. It is more my kind of work. It’s the type of job I can be proud of.
“For me, probably the best thing about being a line tech is the people you meet along the way. Everyone is like family. When people see us out working in a storm, they bring us coffee and food. They come by with pizzas. It brings everyone together. People are understanding for the most part.”
It’s also challenging, Trevor says. “You go to a job and think it’s going to work one way. It doesn’t, so you have to try something different. That keeps you on your toes.”
DEBRA GIBSON ISAACS writes about how co-op members and staff contribute to their communities.