This guy’s job is so cool that he was among those called to help people recover after a natural disaster. Hurricane Irma devastated Florida and James L. Ozmar III, a native of Jarratt, is a graduate of the Southside Virginia Community College Power Line Worker Program who joined the long line of power and construction workers to help rebuild in that state.
A graduate of the second class of Power Line Workers held at SVCC, he began working for River City Construction a few months after his September 2016 graduation. The company provides power line construction and maintenance and is prepared to answer the call for post storm damage, according to their website.
Ozmar says, “All things considered, Florida was not as bad as everyone was expecting. It was like any other storm, just in a much hotter climate and on a larger scale.”
His team was sent to Plant City, Florida which is located near Tampa towards the west coast of the state.
He said, “It felt great helping the people in Florida. Throwing that last cutout switch and hearing the whole neighborhood cheer is a feeling that just cannot be described.”
About what he learned at the 11-week SVCC PLW program, he said, “The school taught me many skills but the most relevant would be my ability to work on hooks [climbing poles often hanging on hooks].”
He said there were times they faced several poles where the primary came off the insulator or when we needed to replace a jumper on poles inaccessible by bucket truck.
In these cases, “It is imperative to be able to work on hooks and do it with confidence, “Ozmar said.