(KAIT) - Arkansas lineman from 13 electric cooperatives recently traveled to Bolivia to help run power lines to three villages.
The Operation Razorback crews helped get service to over 360 residents in 72 homes in Guayaramerin, Bolivia, according to a news release from Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas.
These homes had been without service before the crews from all across the United States came in.
"These men volunteered their skills and showed a passion for serving their fellow man," said Duane Highley, president/CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. "Their efforts will result in an increased quality of life for the villagers and future generations,"
The linemen worked with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the Arkansas crew worked specifically with the Guayaramerine Electric Cooperative (COSEGUA).
The news release stated that the men had to work without bucket trucks and weren't able to climb utility poles.
Instead, crews had to use ladders to run and build lines for the villages who "had been waiting for power for years."
Since 2013, the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas have helped residents in Bolivia and Guatemala get the power they need.
Several linemen across the state helped, including crews from Region 8. They include:
- Gene Milton with Woodruff Electric of Forrest City
- Shannon Strope and Aaron Yearta with Craighead Electric of Jonesboro
- William Thompson with North Arkansas Electric of Salem
- Bill Bonds and Doug Evans with Petit Jean Electric of Clinton
- Richard Freeland with Ouachita Electric of Camden
- Kenneth Byrd and Clayton McMurray of Arkansas Valley Electric of Ozark
- Hugh Starkey with First Electric of Jacksonville
- Jimmy Sharp and Alex Wright with Southwest Arkansas REA of Texarkana
- Kevin Riddle with Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. of Little Rock
The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas is made up of 17 electric distribution cooperatives.
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