Outlying Area Line Crews

Some NLI crews are based in communities for faster response times

Outlying area linemen—from left, Brent Gunter, Jeffrey Garcia, and Nick Hagen—at the Bonners Ferry warehouse. Photo by Kristin Mettke

As we recognize linemen in April, I would like to highlight our eight outlying area linemen.

NLI has 23 linemen, with eight working and living in outlying areas. NLI’s three outlying areas with their own local line crew, warehouse, materials and equipment are in Bonners Ferry, Priest Lake and Trout Creek.

The day-to-day life of linemen in our outlying areas differ from those who work from the main office in Sagle. Outlying area linemen are tasked with doing everything from line work to cleaning, gathering payments from drop boxes and keeping their warehouses stocked with materials.

The Sagle crews rotate, so the linemen get to work with different linemen every
few months. That is not the case in the outlying areas, where the crews remain the same two to three linemen.

Having crews living in these areas helps us better serve our members by having linemen integrated in the community, knowing the areas well and being closer by to respond to outages.

With larger projects or when the work is more than the outlying area linemen can complete, Sagle line crews help out. If outlying area linemen are not able to respond to outages or need additional help after-hours, Sagle line crews can help.

All of the NLI line crews have an important role in providing our members safe, reliable and affordable service, no matter which office they work from.

Quick Facts

  • Active meters: 20,986
  • Active meters per mileof line: 7.4
  • Longest span (Dover Pend Oreille River crossing): 2,300 feet

Kristin MettkeNorthern Lights Engineering & Operations Manager Kristin Mettke is an electrical engineer and has worked in the electric utility industry most of her career.