If your power is on in Agassiz-Harrison, you just might have Finley Fulford, age 6, to thank.
Fulford is not yet a certified power line technician, but he has all the makings of a fine lineman at the young age of six.
BC Hydro told The Observer one of their crews – complete with their signature bucket truck – recently paid a surprise visit to their youngest PLT. B.C. Hydro describes Fulford as “whip-smart” and devoted to his craft. He has a long-established reputation with his neighbours, local BC Hydro employees and contractors.
If you were to ask Fulford when his career started, he’d pinpoint it somewhere around age 3. The first power lines under his watch were made of Mega Bloks, later upgraded to Lego and sticks his granddad found in the yard.
To say Fulford is obsessed with all things BC Hydro would be an understatement. He watches YouTube videos of PLTs at work, keeps up with the news from “Powerlineman Magazine” and training his two younger siblings – Henry, 4, and Charlotte, two-and-a-half – as his apprentices.
“Henry is quite interested, and thinks he works for BC Hydro,” said Chelsey Fulford, Finley’s mother. “And his sister, who can hardly form a sentence, helps with work on his power lines. She says: ‘I wook fo bee-cee hy-dwo.’”
Finley even has his own workout regimen to keep those “lineman muscles” in top form.
“You usually hear kids say things like ‘I want to be a firefighter’ and then it’s ‘I want to be a policeman… then I wanna be a plumber,” Chelsey said. “But this is different. I really think he’s going to do something with BC Hydro down the road, whether it’s an engineer or a PLT. I think he’s basically waiting for cheques to show up in the mail for all the years of unpaid work he’s done for (BC Hydro) already.”
As of publication, BC Hydro’s accounts payable department says the cheques have yet to be distributed.
Over the years, Finley has amassed a collection of PLT gear donated by his fans and friends at BC Hydro. He can often be seen in full “uniform,” complete with a hard hat and vest.
Chelsea recalled a time Finley braved the cold to do his solemn duty as a PLT.
“It was a crappy, rainy day outside and he suddenly comes downstairs and he’s like, “Oh, I really don’t want to go outside today, I don’t want to go to work today – it’s gross and it’s raining – but a lineman has to go to work, no matter the weather,’” she said. “And he trudges outside in the rain to go check on his power lines in the yard, to see if they’re still standing.”
Finley is home schooled, in part because his parents felt he was so bright he’d be bored by standard education.
“He doesn’t like doing normal schoolwork,” Chelsey said. “He’ll say ‘Why can’t I just do lineman school instead? Why do I need to do this garbage? How old do I need to be to go to lineman school?”
“It’s the funniest, weirdest, cutest thing,” she added. “Just an absolute obsession.”