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Ozarks Life: Amanda Pratt is a step above the rest

Amanda is the first female trimmer to receive journeyman status from IBEW Local 53
Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 5:35 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As long as there have been trees, there’s been kids to climb them.

“When I was little,” Amanda Pratt said, “I was always in the tree.”

But how many of us can say we still climb trees as adults? Amanda Pratt can and she gets paid to do it.

“There are women out there that do this and they’re all over the country,” Pratt said. “It’s just very rare to see them.”

The 32-year-old Springfield woman’s life has taken off as a tree trimmer. She climbs up a tree, harnesses in, and cuts back branches from power lines.

“The extreme challenge of it.” is something Pratt loves. “This is very, very hard for me to do, you know, and it’s something I do everyday; things that I thought I would not be able to.”

City Utilities contracts her company, Shade Tree, to take care of tree limbs near its power lines. This wasn’t a life long goal or even a family tradition for Amanda, nope. It was all about falling in love with a guy and what he does for a living.

“He was telling me about how we climb trees next to the power lines,” Pratt said. “And honestly, I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever heard about in my entire life. And so I absolutely got into this chasing a guy. But that guy is now my fiance. And it turns out, I fell in love with trees and him all at the same time.”

And Amanda has found success becoming the first female trimmer to receive journeyman status from IBEW Local 53.

“I prefer Journey-Woman I feel like it is much cooler than Journeyman,” Pratt joked. “But, it means it means the world to me. Because that that, again, is something else I didn’t think I’d be able to do.”

That’s the second time Amanda said that ‘this is something she didn’t think she’d be able to do.’

You see, while her feet are firm under her now, self-confidence and pure joy hasn’t always been there.

“I’m a recovering addict,” Pratt said. “And I know that there are a lot of people out there struggling that think that they’ll never be anything. That they can’t ever be a productive member of society. They won’t ever be able to get out of that hole that they’ve dug for themselves. And I want to tell them that they absolutely can and even more than what they could ever dream up for themselves.”

And the dream is still not finished for Amanda. Next, she wants to become a foreman and someday maybe own her own business. Along the way, she wants to help other women who want to “branch” out of their comfort zone.

“I know when I talk to women about it, a lot of them think that it’s amazing and a lot of them are like very interested in it,” Pratt said. “So I think maybe in the future we’ll definitely see more women in this industry for sure.”

Amanda’s Journeyman status means she’s proficient in her trade and can do everything a foreman can do. She’s quick to thank her team, foreman, and general foreman for her success.

And one final note, when Amanda and her fiance Derrick get married they’re riding off in a bucket truck, not a limo.

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