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MAX A. MEEK, CEO AND GENERAL MANAGER F


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Oklahomans have a love/hate relationship


with the weather. We love to hate it, but we have to admit, it's an adventure. After we thaw out from the snow and ice of winter and before we melt in the oven of summer, we get to enjoy about two months of spring—if we're lucky. At least, that's how I used to think. When I was younger, spring meant picnics,


pleasant days, blooming fl owers, and allergies. (Hay fever and the cottonwood get me every year.) But spring is something altogether diff erent when you go to work for an electric co-op in Oklahoma, especially for our linemen and maintenance crews. Whatever the season, our line crews have one


job: deliver safe, reliable electricity. But that job can change in a million ways when rough weather comes calling. Let’s take a moment to stand in their boots. Linemen have to work safely, smartly, and effi ciently—all while 40 feet in the air wearing sturdy, thick rubber gloves. On a typical day, lineworkers maintain electrical distribution lines or build service to new homes and businesses. T ey have a lot on their plates. But when our dispatch center calls crews with a problem, everything else takes a backseat. Power restoration takes precedence on a


lineworker’s to-do list. T ese brave men are always on call, standing by to serve you 24 hours a day, in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning, weekends, and holidays. Can you imagine getting a call at 3 a.m. telling


you to work outside during bad weather? Not many people are willing to face storms. Our lineworkers


face harsh elements daily. T e storm season aff ects them the same as fi rst responders. In fact, line crews are fi rst responders, they are johnnies-on-the-spot working in tandem with police and fi re crews to clear dangerous situations and reestablish power where it is safe to do so. Last May, they drove into neighborhoods leveled by the tornadoes, clearing a path as best they could, to restore or rebuild service as quickly as possible. Seeing sites like that stay with a person. After this last decade of storm after storm


bringing so much destruction, spring is altogether diff erent for many of you, too. We at OEC can promise you we will always be there, working tirelessly, but safely, to bring the lights back on. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I


am so very proud to be a part of the electric cooperative family. We are never alone. After last year's tornadoes swept through leaving death and destruction in their wake, our co-op family raised us up. Money and off ers of aid started pouring in from all across the country. A special fund had to be set up to collect and distribute the aid money. T e OEC Foundation received over $291,000 in money earmarked for tornado relief. T is month's Operation Round Up column (pg. 4) reports on the most recent allocation of funds. It's a great story of people—strangers—coming together to help where help is needed. It truly warms my heart. As we enter the storm season, let's be prepared


and stay safe. But let's remember that spring can also mean a warm sun and Easter (and sneezes).


April 2014


News Magazine


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