KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 26, 2018 – Seven linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority have arrived in Raleigh, North Carolina to compete in this weekend’s 2018 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo.
Hosted by the American Public Power Association, the annual event attracts top linemen from utilities across the United States to demonstrate their skill and knowledge in the craft of linework. This year’s rodeo will feature 65 teams and 147 apprentices.
The event begins with a series of training and safety courses on Friday in Raleigh, followed by Saturday’s competition in the nearby town of Wake Forest.
“This annual rodeo enables linemen to attend training courses, practice essential skills in a safe environment and compete for professional recognition,” said Brian Horton, KUA’s vice president of engineering and operations. “It also helps ensure 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 Austin Franey, Shane Paras and Billy White, with Dave Wolfe serving as alternate and support staff. Lars Akkerman, Austin Gunther and Danny Kelly will compete in the apprentice competition. In addition, Aaron Haderle will serve as the rodeo’s journeyman master judge.
KUA linemen placed third statewide in last month’s Florida Lineman Competition in Kissimmee.
The American Public Power Association (http://publicpower.org) is the national service organization representing the nation’s more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities. Collectively, these utilities serve more than 49 million Americans and employ 93,000 people.
Founded in 1901, KUA (https://kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 74,000 customers in Osceola County, Florida.