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Seattle City (spot)Light: Brandon Melland

Brandon Melland has been at City Light for 13 years. A journeyman lineman, Brandon began his City Light career as part of the pre-apprentice program. “I’m currently in an out-of-class position as the journeyman assigned to Safety, Health and Wellness (JSHaW). It’s my job to work with crews at our service centers and be an advocate to make changes for the better, “Brandon explained. “Each craft – line, network, tech metering and stations – has its own JSHaW representative. I’m assigned to line which is exciting. I get to work with groups like safety and engineering to help push projects forward. I like it quite a bit.”

Brandon grew up in the Mill Creek area and attended Shoreline Community College where he earned an associate’s degree in Arts & Sciences. “I was accepted into the University of Washington and was just about to transfer, but I changed course and applied for the pre-apprentice lineworker program.” He lives in Bothell with his wife Kristal and their two sons, Sean and Brian.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Brandon talks about his work at the utility, his family and hobbies.

“My family and I like to travel. We’ve been to Japan twice and are planning our third trip. It’s an awesome country and has so much great food. We also like going to Canada. Norway and Hawaii are also on our travel list. I also enjoy woodworking. I inherited a bunch of tools and since I like to work with my hands, I started to build things. Nothing too involved, but I built our bed frame and a few tables.”

“Cooking is popular in our home. My mom and grandma were good cooks, but I didn’t get into it until I started cooking with my wife. She’s a tremendous cook. We do everything – from making our own pasta noodles to baking doughnuts from scratch. I also like to cook fish. My uncles and I take a fishing trip to Alaska just about every year. We visit a town called Soldotna and fish for sockeye salmon along the Kenai River. I like to do nice barbeques with the fish I bring back!”

“I’ve worked in multiple capacities at City Light, from powerline clearance with vegetation management to the docks where we build, maintain and troubleshoot powerlines. I’ve also been involved in different training opportunities. I helped develop our tower rescue program and still do tower rescue. It’s also been fun to work with our apprenticeship team. I’ve participated in some of the outreach efforts where we go to schools and talk to kids about our careers and how being a lineworker is a viable career path. I recently got involved with Grassroots Safety because I care about City Light getting better and safer for the people who work here, myself included. It seems like a good path to make change.”

“I enjoy my work – it’s very satisfying. It’s nice to see a project through completion; to see the results of your labor. Storm work is also very satisfying. It’s the most fun because people are happy to see you for a change! Most of the time, we’re either invisible, in the way or turning off people’s power. But with storm, we’re everyone’s best friend…their heroes…because we’re restoring power. And those reactions are fun.”