WMECO linemen deal with heat - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

WMECO linemen deal with heat

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Electricity to run a fan or air conditioner during the heat of summer is something many people may not think about too much unless it isn't there. Even during a heat wave power crews continue to make sure the lights stay on.

The power was out for about a half-hour on Armory Street in Springfield Thursday so linemen from Western Massachusetts Electric Company could replace a transformer. Company officials said the old transformer was struggling to supply demand during the heat wave.

The linemen were out in the heat of the day Thursday to replace the old transformer. The difficulty of the job was compounded by the safety equipment they were required to wear. Long sleeve shirts, insulated steel toe boots and jeans are required underneath the thick,  rubber insulated protective gear.

Safety was the primary concern, but the linemen said it was not comfortable.

WMECO lineman Michael Maziarz said "It's just unbearable at times. We have to wear all the safety equipment which is for our benefit. But it can also be dangerous because of the heat, the sweat plus the electricity."

Crews said hot temperatures were the worst conditions for them to work in, but they stayed on the job until it's done.

WMECO Field supervisor Michael Aubin said, "If our customers are without power we are going to continue to work, that's their dedication, and our company's dedication. It truly is. And like last night we worked guys around the clock. They're at home resting and they'll be back at it tonight doing it again."

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