KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 16, 2012 – In a competition that measures safety, skill and speed, linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority bested teams from across the U.S. on Saturday to bring home the nation’s fourth best ranking from the American Public Power Association’s 12th annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo in Cleveland, Ohio.
Forty-five journeyman teams and 59 apprentices from municipal utilities throughout the country gathered to compete in timed events based on traditional lineman tasks and skills.
There are two levels of competition within the annual rodeo: journeyman teams and apprentice. The journeyman teams consist of three members – two climbers and a ground person. An alternate team member is also assigned in case of illness or injury. 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.
KUA’s team earned a perfect score of 500 points and placed behind teams from Nashville Electric Service (Tenn.), Santee Cooper (S.C.), and Modesto Irrigation District (Calif.), based on event completion times. KUA was the only Florida utility honored in this year’s competition.
Trophies were awarded to KUA in the following event categories:
Journeyman Team – Steve Bray, Chris Ketner and Dave Wolfe; Logan Murphy (alternate)
4th place – Overall Journeyman Team
2nd place – 12 kV Arrestor Change Out
3rd place – Transformer Change Out
KUA’s two apprentices — Shane Paras and Brent Davis — did excellent as well, earning perfect scores in their four events and scores of 86 and 82, respectively, on the written exam.
Last month, KUA linemen won the state’s third best ranking at the Florida Lineman Competition in Gainesville.
The American Public Power Association, based in Washington, D.C., is the service organization for the nation’s more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities. Collectively, these utilities serve more than 46 million Americans.
Founded in 1901, KUA (http://kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 64,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Chris M. Gent