APS linemen ready for valley monsoon season

APS is calling their last monsoon season the summer of wind, as many of their poles were damaged because of heavy gusts.

"Last year, we lost close to 500 wooded poles in our system," Brian Alston said.

Though they can't control the winds and rainfall, they do watch out for it.

"We will actually monitor weather and storms and have a general idea of how severe the storm will be to the best of our ability and better prepare ourselves for those areas of impact," he said.

Alston also says this year they're stocked with more supplies and linemen.

"This year, we've ramped up in regards to better stock, we have more equipment on hand and we have more preparedness to be able to meet those needs to not see so many outages this year," he said.

Alston says when a pole goes down, two linemen either go up in a bucket truck or climb the pole, depending on location to re-energize the circuit.

"You've got your pole buddy and your pole buddy is there for you the whole time, watching what you're doing and you're watching what they're doing and as you can see here; constant communication," he said.

The training to become a lineman is rigorous because the job can be a dangerous one.

"We have linemen academies, where we constantly put our employees through training ever year," he said. "We are prepared to not only handle the monsoons, but to do it safely and effectively."

APS says it takes five years of training and experience to become an official lineman.