Interview with Emeric FORAY, Electrician

Electricians are indispensable to Méribel Alpina, managing everything relating to the ski lifts electrics. We interviewed one of them, Emeric Foray, who told us about his job. 

When did you start this job and what does it involve?
I’ve worked here since 2004, at first seasonally, then year-round from 2008. There are 5 electricians who manage all the lifts in the ski area: we deal with breakdowns and assist when conditions are difficult (we help get everything started after a very heavy snowfall, for example). We might have to change a fluorescent tube or fix a broken-down chairlift, or manage the computer network or take care of a 20,000 volts power outage... It’s very varied!

What is your typical day?
There isn’t really one. For example, when there was a very heavy fall recently, we had to be at work at 7.15 to help start Tougnète, then we had to manage a 20,000 volts power outage, then open Burgin-Saulire, then go back to the workshop for various jobs ... and at the end of the day, we had to help get the cabins in. It was a busy day!

What do you do in the offseason and summer?
These are mostly scheduled operations on all the machinery, we check the systems and make sure everything is safe, make alternations to the computer network to improve the Skidata, or the sales terminals - it's also quite varied!

What difficulties does an electrician face working for a lift company?
You have to love the mountains, you spend a lot of time outdoors, so sometimes the weather conditions are difficult. And you have to be very careful not to get your fingers caught in a lift, for example!

How have you seen your profession change?
What has changed a lot is the emphasis on safety: today we use a harness for all work at height and helmets on the snowmobile ... the work is the same, it's just the security standards that have been tightened, and that's a good thing.