KUA Linemen Ranked ‘Second Fastest’ in Florida

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Kissimmee, Fla., April 4, 11:00 am – Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) crews brought home four trophies and the second fastest competition time from the third annual Florida Lineman’s Rodeo. Twenty-three teams from nearly a dozen of Florida’s electric utilities gathered in Jacksonville on March 29 to exhibit their craft and showcase their skills.
KUA’s leading team earned a score of 498 out of 500 possible points and achieved an overall time of 38 minutes, 50 seconds, second only to a team from Jacksonville Electric Authority which finished 46 seconds sooner.
“Crew speed translates into quicker restoration of power for our customers in a real life situation,” said KUA president & general manager Jim Welsh. “We’re proud to be among Florida’s best.”
Overall, KUA’s two teams placed 6th and 21st in the state and earned three event trophies, including first place for poletop insulator changeout. Team members included: Mike Fulmore, Gary Guinan, Aaron Haderle, Bruce Thompson, Steve Walker, and Joe Watson, with Bill Groover serving as alternate.
Jamie Boswell and Scott Grieves represented KUA in the individual apprentice competition. Boswell earned a third place trophy in the streetlight changeout event.
While ‘rodeo’ implies competition based on skill, speed and safety are among the teams’ top priorities. “These linemen take their jobs very seriously,” said Chris Gent, KUA’s manager of corporate communications. “It may look easy, but there’s nothing easy about climbing a 40-foot utility pole.”
The rodeo itself consisted of five separate events. One of the most popular was the hurt-man rescue. In this exercise, a 180-pound mannequin, simulating an injured lineman, was “rescued” from the top of a 40-foot pole. “This is one situation a lineman hopes he never encounters on the job,” Gent said, “but he must know how to perform a rescue safely and accurately.”
KUA’s winning team will represent the utility in the 20th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo in Bonner Springs, Kansas in October.
Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s 6th largest community-owned utility serving 58,000 electric, water and internet customers in five Central Florida counties.
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Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116
cgent@kua.com