Kissimmee “Electric Cowboys” to Compete at Statewide Rodeo

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 19, 2008 – Twenty-six teams and 45 apprentices from more than a dozen of Florida’s electric utilities will gather in Lakeland on Saturday, March 29 for the eighth annual Florida Linemen’s Competition.

The purpose of the day-long event is to demonstrate the safety, skill and education of electric linemen.

There are two levels of competition within the rodeo: journeyman and apprentice. The journeyman teams consist of three members – two climbers and a ground person. A qualified journeyman has more than four years of experience within the electric utility trade. An apprentice lineworker competes as an individual and has four or fewer years of experience.

The journeyman team competition consists of five timed events: 12 kV dead end insulator change out, arrester change out on a capacitor bank, cross arm change out, hurtman rescue and one mystery event. The apprentice competition also features five timed events, including lamp and photocell replacement, hurtman rescue, insulator change out, single phase tie in and one mystery event. The mystery events won’t be revealed to participants until the day before the competition.

Participating utilities include KUA, City of Alachua, City of Bartow, Beaches Energy Services (Jacksonville Beach), Choctawhatchee Electric Cooperative (DeFuniak Springs), Fort Pierce Utilities Authority, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative (Ohio), JEA (Jacksonville), Kansas City Power & Light (Missouri), Lafayette Utilities System (Louisiana), Lakeland Electric, Ocala Electric Utility, Orlando Utilities Commission, Progress Energy, City of Tallahassee and City of Vero Beach.

Representing KUA in the journeyman competition are (Team #1) Eddie Gluc, Alberto Mercado and Luis Santiago; (Team #2) Dustin Kelley, Chris Ketner and David Wolfe; (Team #3) Mike Fulmore, Marcello McDonald and Logan Murphy. Apprentices include Josh Miller, Jaret Rivers and Jason Wright.

Mike Taylor and Bruce Thompson will serve as team support; Aaron Haderle and Paul Therriault will serve as event judges.

The event promises live action, music, concessions and a play area for the kids. Admission and parking are free. Additional details are available at http://www.publicpower.com/flc.shtml.

Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.

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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-9836
cgent@kua.com