The Power of Love & Line Spouses
To Sandy Airgood, a power outage used to simply mean the lights went out; a storm was simply wind, rain and lightning.
That changed when she was struck by the electric love of Penn Power line worker and husband-to-be, David Airgood. David was on his very first night of storm duty and stopped by the restaurant she worked at to take his dinner break.
A dozen roses, 2 rescue dogs, 6 rescue cats, 2 kids and 15 years later, Sandy Airgood understands that every time the power goes out or a storm rolls through, brave men and women are dispatched to work long, hard hours to restore service, leaving their homes and loved ones in the process.
Airgood is one of many spouses who answer the call of duty by maintaining and looking after the household when their loved ones are unexpectedly uprooted to respond to power outages, sometimes for days on end.
“My mom raised a pretty tough cookie,” said Airgood, who was raised in a military family where her father would be away for long periods of time whenever duty called.
Tough as she is, being married to a line worker isn’t without its challenges. Frequent travel and long hours can cause her husband to miss significant events or holidays, like the first smile of their 3-month-old daughter last Thanksgiving.
“You never get back the time you lost with your family,” Airgood said. “He misses out on a lot of things people take for granted.”
Overall, Airgood says her family is still able to thrive while he is away, and they are happy he is able to restore power to families so they can enjoy their holidays and special moments.
“I’m proud to say I’m a line spouse, and I’m proud of the work he does,” said Airgood. “It takes guts and dedication.”
Brittany Fox shares the same loving energy for Kenneth Fox, her husband of 12 years and an Ohio Edison line worker.
“These men and women do amazing work to restore power,” Fox said. “I really wish people knew what it took to be a line worker; it’s not easy.”
Fox started to learn the sacrifice and dedication required to be a line worker when her husband was enrolled in FirstEnergy’s Power Systems Institute (PSI) training program and she was pregnant with their third child.
“He would drive home daily to see us, spending 3 hours in a car to visit with us for only 2 hours,” Fox said.
Though Fox’s husband has only been a line worker for 2 years, he’s already experienced plenty of small storms which have pulled him away from the family for long hours.
“Sometimes the kids will ask ‘Did dad get called out?’ or ‘When will dad be home?’ and sometimes I don’t know because he is busy and unable to call or text,” Fox said.
Fox says despite the difficulties, she has no regrets and she is happy to support her husband whether the sky is blue, black or grey.
“Line work isn’t for everyone,” said Fox. “Finding someone who can fill the role as the support system for these brave men and women is like catching lightning in a bottle.”
CONTACT: Josh Duke, 330-374-6544