KISSIMMEE, Fla., May 14, 2015 – Six linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority arrived in Sacramento, California this afternoon to compete in their very own version of the rodeo.
Hosted by the American Public Power Association, the 15th annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo attracts top linemen from utilities across the nation to compete in events based on traditional lineman tasks. This year’s rodeo features 58 teams and 88 apprentices.
The event begins with a series of training and safety courses on Friday, followed by Saturday’s competition.
“This annual rodeo enables linemen to test their knowledge and skills in a fun, competitive environment,” said Ken Davis, KUA’s vice president of engineering and operations. “It also ensures the readiness of our crews to respond to outages as we enter Florida’s storm and hurricane season.”
There are two levels of competition within the rodeo: journeyman teams and apprentices. The journeyman teams consist of three members – two climbers and a ground worker. 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; the apprentice competition includes four timed events and a written test.
KUA’s journeyman team is made up of Shane Paras, Willie Simmons and Jason Wright, with Dave Wolfe serving as alternate. Austin Franey and Dillon Smathers will compete in the apprentice competition. In addition, Aaron Haderle will serve as the rodeo’s journeyman master judge, and Bruce Thompson will serve as support staff.
APPA (http://publicpower.org) is the national service organization representing the nation’s more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities. Collectively, these utilities serve more than 48 million Americans.
Founded in 1901, KUA (http://kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 67,000 customers in Osceola County, Florida.
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Contact: Chris Gent