Local 44’s Power Experts
Most often when we think of high voltage experts we speak of Lineman, but if we go back to where it all starts, then you find a different kind of animal, the Unique and Talented bunch of individuals that generate all this power. Here in Montana 60 percent of the power is Hydro. Our Brothers and Sisters at Northwestern Energy Hydro operate and maintain 11 generating stations in the river system. There are more than 450 miles between Mystic and Thompson Falls, not to mention Madison, Hauser, Holter, Black Eagle, Rainbow, Cochrane, Ryan, Morony and Hebgen backing up the 14 trillion gallons of water that make up the hydraulic force generating 450 megawatts of power on 750 miles of river. Some of these plants are more than 100 years old and maintaining and operating these plants is no small feat. This feat of turning stored waterpower into electrical energy requires a diversity of talents few can master. Continuous updating requires these members to know both, old school and new technology, to keep things working. In the wintertime the days could be spent chipping ice off the face of the dam in the hostile elements of windblown Great Falls, or in the summertime they might be replacing a generator in the park-like setting at Holter Dam. This all the while making sure production stays at the top end so Montanans can enjoy the low rates hydro allows. They also maintain facilities open to the public for all kinds of recreation experiences and wildlife habitats. The pride they bring to the Local is in the award-winning safety records they strive for and receive. Hats off to the Operators, Maintenance Operators, Electricians, Mechanics and Helpers that it takes to master the power of water and turn it into light!
Brother Al Pochelon passed away the past month. For those of you who knew Al, you know he was a great hand and a Marine Vet. He was a great hand, fun loving and a fishing fool. He is one of the guys you think of when you think of the good old days, when enjoying life was easy to do. He was affectionately called “Poopie” by those who he thought the most of. There will be no services at his request. “God’s speed Brother” on your trip to the Big Job.
ROB’S OUTDOOR REPORT
Bow season opened up, and so far I have only heard of two kills. Both were cow elk made at a secret location near Townsend. Fishing has been good on Holter, Hauser for walleyes and perch, and the Mighty Mo is producing some nice browns. Jason Birdwell “Mr. All Around” in Lewistown called in from the field to report lots of rain, and he imagined that there were more hunters that day hunkered in tents than boy scouts at a national jamboree! He did tell me it is an indisputable fact that a day spent fishing or hunting is worth more than any day at work, and he believed that they are not deducted from your allowed time on earth.
That’s all for now, good hunting, your Outdoor Editor Rob Buhl.
FROM THE ASSISTANT BUSINESS MANAGER
Hello Brothers and Sisters. I hope everyone had a great summer, and for the hunters out there I wish you a great season coming up. School is back in so remember to drive safely around town and watch out for the little ones. I would like to thank all the sponsors of this year’s Golf Tournament and those who participated. I had to pick the coldest and wettest day of the summer to have this, but everyone hung in there and had a good time. Congratulations to the winners!
Winning Team - Neal Fugere, Mike Downey, Jimmy Lane, Butch Juhnke
Men’s Long Drive - Cory Donahue
Women’s Long Drive & 50/50 Winner - Jan Leding
Looking forward to seeing you all at the Unit Meetings. Be safe out there and have fun.
We all know someone who has had surgery. Did you know one pint of blood has the possibility of helping these people? I have been donating for almost 30 years. It takes about 45 minutes to donate. You can donate every 56 days. That is 6 donations a year. Do you have the time to help? Please contact your local American Red Cross to donate. Justin Shatto
MEMBERSHIP & EMPLOYER DEVELOPMENT
SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY
I just finished attending the IBEW Safety Caucus and the Labor Division of the National Safety Council (NSC). It was an eye-opening experience to say the least. There are so many everyday things we take for granted. There are short cuts that we may take or things that we do not think about before we start the task. Are you your Brothers/Sisters keeper? Are you Safety minded? We heard about safety issues with the Baker Boards, using Baker Boards as the connection point for fall suspension and the problems with connection points using the buckets on the bucket trucks. This time of year we are starting to cool down but with the heat stress that each person experiences, how well do you stay hydrated, do you know the signs of heat stroke? How many on your crew are first aid CPR certified, how many of you know how to use an AED, do you know what an AED is?
In the future I will try to use part of this article as a safety information note. Be safe, work safe and make sure you are going home tonight to your family safely. Be your Brother’s keeper!
Sign up for the web page, it takes only a few moments to register for the website (www.ibew44.org), membership is verified you will have full access to the website. IBEW 44 has social media accounts we have been trying to get more content on Facebook (IBEW Local 44) check it out. Visit the web page to access the rest of the social media accounts, and PLEASE feel free to add any pictures, videos, events or anything that you think should be there.
Dwight Rose, D988003
Thank you to Trevor Taylor and Lorenzo Camac for volunteering to go to the St. Louis RENEW Conference. We look forward to seeing what both of you learn and bring back to energize RENEW. The RENEW Conference is in St. Louis, MO on October 16 – 19, 2019.
If you are interested in getting involved, or have questions feel free to contact RENEW Chairman Shane Bykonen at 406-750-0511.
Odds n Ends:
Attention Veteran’s, IBEW 44 is starting a Veteran’s Group; the only qualification is that you are a Veteran. Please contact the Hall either by phone 406-723-3203, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or just let any of us know that you served and would like to be a part of the Veteran’s group. Thank you for your Service!
Recently an idea came to us that a great way to honor deceased members is to make a memorial donation in their name to our Brotherhood Fund. Memorial donations may be made out to IBEW 44 RENEW and sent to P.O. Box 3467, Butte MT 59702. Please make sure to include a note with the name of who you wish to honor. We are also in the process of establishing a way to donate online via the IBEW 44 website.
MSLCAT will be holding a First Aid CPR class in Helena at the training center on November 9, 2019. Contact Mountain States at (801) 562-2929 if you are interested in taking this class.
Local 44 will also be holding the following classes:
- A P/I steward training class has been scheduled for October 2 in Missoula.
- Steward training has been scheduled for October 16 in Helena at the training center.
- The OSHA Class is tentatively rescheduled for October 18th and 25th.
Please let Dwight Rose know if you want to attend any of the above training classes.
Local 44 would like to congratulate the following member who has retired from the trade:
Best wishes for a long and happy retirement!
OCTOBER UNIT MEETING
Great Falls Oct. 07, 2019 7:00 PM Great Falls Labor Temple
Havre Oct. 08, 2019 6:00 PM Elks Lodge
Malta Oct. 09, 2019 5:30 PM Stretch’s Pizza Restaurant
Billings Oct. 10, 2019 5:30 PM NWE Service Center
Helena Oct. 14, 2019 5:30 PM Helena Labor Temple
Bozeman Oct. 15, 2019 5:30 PM Bozeman Labor Temple
Missoula Oct. 16, 2019 6:00 PM Missoula Labor Temple
Butte Oct. 24, 2019 5:30 PM Local 44 Office