KUA Team Places 8th in International Lineman’s Rodeo

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., October 1, 10:30 am — Considered the industry’s “Super Bowl” of skill competitions, 1,000 of the best linemen from across the United States and around the world gathered in Bonner Springs, Kansas recently to compete in the 19th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo. Kissimmee Utility Authority’s three-person team scored 394 points out of a possible 400 to place 8th best in the world in the municipal competition.
The rodeo is a competition based on traditional lineman tasks. The intention of the rodeo is to recognize the profession of line work, as well as to demonstrate the safety, skill and education of electric linemen. It was created for participation by everyday, working linemen.
While “rodeo” implies competition based on speed and skill, safe work is the number one priority here, says Chris Gent, KUA’s manager of corporate communications. “These linemen take their jobs very seriously,” Gent said. “It may look easy, but there’s nothing easy about climbing a 40-foot pole. While the men want to do well, they also want to compete in a safe environment. After all, in a work situation, it’s their lives that are on the line. There’s no room for error. Ever.”
Teams compete in five divisions: investor-owned utilities, contractors, municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives and seniors. Each team participates in five mandatory events. This year’s events included a pole climb, hurt man rescue and three mystery events. Participants do not know the nature of the mystery events until just before the rodeo begins. All areas of the competition are conducted without the use of live electricity.
Scoring for the events is based on correct work procedures and safety. Judges include utility supervisors and past rodeo contestants, and follow strict criteria.
Aaron Haderle, Bruce Thompson, and Joe Watson made up KUA’s three-man team, with Luis Santiago serving as alternate. Jamie Boswell, Scott Grieves, and Logan Murphy competed individually in the apprentice competition. Bill Groover and Henry Kurnick served as support personnel at the event.
In the municipal apprentice competition, Grieves placed 15th in the world, Murphy placed 19th, and Boswell placed 37th. Each apprentice lineman took a written test and competed in a series of physical tasks.
KUA crews previously earned five trophies and a $500 check at the second annual Florida Lineman’s Rodeo held on March 2 in Orlando.
KUA is Florida’s 6th largest community-owned utility serving 58,000 electric, water and internet customers in three Central Florida counties.
Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116
cgent@kua.com