Bob Smith was born on February 29th, 1936 in Bend, Oregon. He began his climbing career with Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Company in February 1955, on the construction crew. After two years, Bob was hired by Idaho Power Company where he worked the Hells Canyon Dam transmission lines. During his thirty-eight and a half years with the company Bob filled so many roles: high line maintenance; line crew doing distribution, underground, new construction, and maintenance; “Troubleman” work for the Service Department, which included work on customers’ appliances along his route; foreman for overhead, underground, and transmission; and fill-in operating supervisor. Even after retiring in 1995, Bob couldn’t let the work go. He ran crews as a foreman for Henkels and McCoy Construction Company for three years. Followed by eight years as a Superintendent for H & H Construction.
In 1998, he joined Northwest Lineman College as an instructor and helped set up their underground training program. His 51 years of experience serve him well, as do his love and passion for line work. In 2013 he can still be found climbing poles to help his students with competencies, and both his son and grandson have followed in his footsteps with lineman careers of their own.