Cullman Electric Cooperative lineman Jeff Osborn was honored for his community service as part of the state’s official Alabama Lineman Appreciation Day celebration.
Osborn was given the Energy Institute of Alabama’s Outstanding Service Award during a ceremony Monday at Opelika Power Services. The award is given annually to one electrical lineman among all the electric utilities in the state.
“Linemen leaves their homes and families, and work until every customer has power.,” said Seth Hammett, EIA chairman and vice president of business development for PowerSouth Energy Cooperative. “These front line professionals sometimes encounter situation or special needs that prompt them to go the extra mile or extra hours to ensure their customers are served. This is what we recognize today with this award.”
Osborn, who has worked as a Cullman EC lineman for 12 years, was unable to attend the ceremony after working the Sunday night and early Monday morning to restore power to Cullman EC members following a car accident that broke a power pole. Cullman EC lineman Justin Davis accepted the award on Osborn’s behalf.
“What makes Jeff outstanding when it comes to his service is not one extraordinary or heroic act,” said Tim Culpepper, Cullman EC’s ECO. “It's his attention to detail and compassion for people exhibited on a daily basis that sets him apart. Jeff regularly talks with members while performing his lineman duties. He understands that sometimes people need a smile, a kind word and a little help even if they are too proud to ask for it.”
One recent example came from a co-op member who called the office to thank Osborn and Davis for helping her elderly mother who had fallen outside her home while watching the linemen work. The two men stopped their work and carried her back inside her house where she was able to call family. It turns out that she broke her hip during the fall and required surgery. The woman’s daughter contacted Cullman EC to tell this story and wanted to thank the linemen who helped, knowing the injury could have been life-threatening if her mother had not received immediate help. Osborn, expecting no special recognition for simply doing what was right, had not shared the story. But upon learning of the woman’s situation, his first question was to ask what hospital she was at so he could go visit her.
“Jeff understands that being a lineman at Cullman Electric Cooperative makes him a leader in our community,” Culpepper said. “We believe the example he sets for other linemen and all our co-op employees makes him a worthy recipient of the EIA Outstanding Service Award.”