OPPD working line crew leader Bill Bergeron spends his days outdoors working with large equipment and machines and tools. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
As a foreman for the line crews performing construction and maintenance work on the district’s electrical transmission and distribution system, Bergeron spends his days at job sites.
He has been with OPPD full time since 1985, starting out as a meter reader. For two years, starting in 1982, Bergeron worked part-time in the meter reading department.
Bergeron left the metering department in 1992 when he became an underground laborer at the Papillion Center. His ultimate goal to become a lineman. To that end, he started taking classes at Metropolitan Community College, first earning an associate’s degree in Electronics and then taking pole-climbing classes.
In 1995, he became a line worker apprentice and a journeyman line worker four years later.
Bergeron spends his days communicating with his crew the tasks that need to be done on the jobsite, usually setting poles, pulling wire and cable and hanging transformers. It is important and difficult work, he said.
“Line workers have an incredibly dangerous job to do,” Bergeron said. “Be patient, let us do our job, and we will get your power back on.”
Bergeron said on a day-to-day basis, workers perform a lot of new construction or rebuilding of old construction. Such work helps keep the system maintained in reliable working condition, which in turn keeps outages to a minimum.
“Having gone to other cities during mutual aid storm restoration and seeing systems that are not well maintained, I appreciate the quality and maintenance of the OPPD system.”
And sometimes, work takes Bergeron to unexpected job sites. Like the work done more than a year ago at Offutt Air Base with a cable splicer crew. The crews were working to remove an old substation and replace and update the base’s distribution system. At times, Bergeron said, they worked in high security areas with an armed guard watching over them.
As someone who loves being outside, it’s no surprise that Bergeron can usually be found enjoying the great outdoors when not at work. He and his family love fishing, waterskiing, snow skiing, golfing and traveling.
And thanks to workers like Bergeron and their willingness to work outdoors – often in less-than-ideal conditions, the lights stay on for OPPD’s customers.