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Electrician sheds light on his passion

Bringing reliable power to his community helps build up courage and determination to tackle any problems, Yang Feiyue reports.

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-02 12:52
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Senior electrician Qian Dong at a power training base in Tongxiang. [Photo provided to China Daily]

However, the substation in Tongxiang no longer needed full-time personnel, as, like many other local substations, it was monitored by a central facility. Therefore, Qian joined the ranks of line crew.

"To be frank, I was at a bit of a loss and afraid, since it was a different line of work," he recalls.

Mostly outdoor work, a lineman's responsibility is the installation, maintenance, and repair of power lines, cables, utility poles, and related equipment.

The first few days at work sent chills down Qian's spine.

He had to climb a cement pole that was 15 meters high, using only simple gear.

"Even though I was mentally prepared, I felt really shaky as I crawled my way up," he says.

"All around were vast fields, and I was so scared that I didn't dare to open my eyes."

Worse still, the foot buckles became slippery on rainy and snowy days.

"Among other things, this job requires strong hands-on skills," Qian says.

To overcome his fear of heights and learn how to properly balance on the pole, Qian spent half a year practicing, forcing himself to be the first to volunteer for such jobs.

At the same time, he actively took on more tasks, while observing and learning operations by experienced technicians, such as how to install insulating adjuncts on the pole.

His efforts soon saw him grow to become the backbone of the team. In 2006, Qian became one of the first to operate on live lines.

Generally, the safe voltage for humans is around 36 volts. However, Qian deals with high-voltage electricity of 10,000 volts or even 20,000 volts every day. The consequences of an electric shock in such high-voltage environment can be catastrophic.

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