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Celebrating National Lineworker Appreciation Day: An Interview with Troubleman Joe Pride

Each year on July 10, National Lineworker Appreciation Day recognizes those responsible for maintaining and enhancing the local energy grid—overhead, underground and everywhere that it extends. Lineworkers regularly brave harsh weather and respond at any hour when emerging issues require their expert technical skills to keep the lights on for our customers.

Joe Pride is one of our heroic lineworkers. Joe is a troubleman and is responsible for evaluating outages and troubleshooting solutions. He lives in Middletown, Del. with his wife and their two children.

Here is a look into Joe’s 19-year journey with the company.

What path did you take to become a lineworker with Delmarva Power?

When I graduated high school, I started attending Delaware Technical College but realized it wasn’t for me. I then started working for Delmarva Power when I was 19 years old as a laborer. My mom, Cherie, worked for the company and I knew working for a company like Delmarva Power would be a good next step for me. I learned the value of hard work by watching my mom. I worked as a laborer for several years in various departments including the line department. It was there I learned what lineworkers do each day and decided to go to line school and work my way up to troubleman.

Tell me about the moment you realized you wanted to become a lineworker?

As a laborer, I would watch the lineworkers and after seeing what they did each day—helping people and powering homes and businesses—I knew it was a career I wanted to pursue.

What has the experience been like working through the COVID-19 pandemic?

It was stressful. I am the type of person that always has the attitude that “I will be fine”, but I worried about bringing something home to my family, especially in the beginning. I had perspective though knowing my wife was managing home schooling for our son and childcare all while teaching as a professor…. she’s a rockstar. We really succeeded because of her and help from family. It was a team effort.

What is the most gratifying part of your job?

Energy is so important for our lives and when you do not have power it is a big deal. When storms roll through and I can restore power—I really enjoy that a lot. In 2017, I participated in a mutual assistance effort in Florida after Hurricane Irma. The region had been without power for a few weeks and the community was so gracious, kind and patient. They were so appreciative and happy we were there. That’s just one example of several that make this more than just a job.