Alabama Power spotlights Chelsea lineman

By NANCY PRATER

Special to the Reporter

Growing up, Scott Shultz had a bird’s-eye view of wide-open green pastures.

As a transmission lineman for Alabama Power and Chelsea resident, his view from above is even better today as Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day is celebrated on June 3. Shultz started working as a utility assistant in transmission construction in Northport.

He moved through various roles of increasing responsibility before he received his first lineman position in Jemison.

Shultz and his teammates can often be found off the beaten path, working on poles that are more than 100 feet tall. The equipment they maintain, repair and replace is essential to delivering reliable power to customers.

“Transmission is big poles, big towers, big wire,” said Shultz. “It’s what you see going across country. It’s not what goes to a customer’s house. Most of our customers don’t see what the transmission employees do every day.”

On a seasoned transmission crew, each member can operate every piece of equipment. The crew must keep safety first to return home safely each day to their families.

Shultz and his team often help with storm restoration in other areas of the country, such as last year following Hurricane Michael. Seeing people cheer them on from their front porches keeps the crews going when workdays are long. Working together as a team helps restoration work proceed quickly and efficiently.

“These guys I work with are my family, away from my family,” said Shultz.

“We have a diverse group of employees on the line crews,” said Kristen Bridges, transmission line maintenance supervisor. “They all bring different perspectives and different work experiences. It’s important to listen to everybody’s input.”

Even with the day-to-day requirements of a lineman, Shultz still finds time to volunteer in his community. He coaches his son’s baseball team, mentors at the YMCA and volunteers at his church.

Shultz’s 5-year-old son, Pierce, plays coach-pitch baseball in the Chelsea Little League. Shultz is motivated to coach by the boys’ smiles as they learn the game and have fun.

Over the past year, Shultz has also worked with Ivan, a special needs student, at the Greystone YMCA. He met Ivan when he saw him struggling with weights at the gym. Their friendship grew to mentorship as Shultz became a cheerleader for the Special Olympics.

Though not all their titles are “lineman,” all work on the system to ensure the lights stay on in Alabama.