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Sharing Safety

I’ve been in the electric cooperative business for a long time. It’s a business that runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Maybe that’s the reason I sometimes get tunnel vision and take other industries for granted.

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of speaking to members of the Texas Logging Council at their state meeting. Earlier in the week, someone asked why I would drive two hours to Center, Texas, on my own time to speak to loggers about power line safety. I gave these reasons.

1. I’ve lived in Texas timber country my entire life. As a boy, I learned to appreciate and respect the logging industry’s contribution to our history and economy. I admired hard working people who logged the East Texas Piney Woods. They seemed larger than life to me.

2. On every list of the most dangerous jobs, logging is at, or very near, the top.

3. If, through my power line safety presentation, the logging community is safer, my time was well spent.

In the audience were 100 loggers and family members, another generation of industrious hard working men and women, carrying on the rich legacy of the East Texas logging industry. They listened to what I had to say. They asked questions and offered comments. And I came away with an even deeper respect for the people who are Texas loggers.

As I was leaving, a logging operation owner from Liberty County said, “That was a good presentation,” he said. “You seem to really care.”

“Thanks,” I replied. “I do.”

Posted by: Keith Stapleton, Chief Communications Officer