KISSIMMEE, Fla., April 12, 2007 – The top linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) arrive in Atlanta, Ga. today to compete in their very own version of the rodeo.
Hosted by the American Public Power Association, the seventh annual Public Power Lineworkers’ Rodeo attracts the best linemen from utilities across the nation to compete in events based on traditional lineman tasks.
The event begins with a series of training and safety courses on April 13 followed by the competition on April 14.
“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 for the upcoming hurricane season.”
There are two levels of competition within the rodeo: journeyman teams and apprentice. The journeyman teams consist of three members – two climbers and a ground person. 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.
This year’s competition includes 55 journeyman teams and 70 apprentices.
The journeyman team competition consists of five timed events: 4kV single conductor transfer, dead and grounded cross arm changeout, hurtman rescue, insulator change and oil circuit recloser replacement. The apprentice competition includes four timed events and a written test.
KUA’s journeyman team is made up of Aaron Haderle, Logan Murphy and David Wolfe with Luis Santiago serving as alternate. Rich Perez will compete in the apprentice competition. Bruce Thompson and Alberto Mercado will serve as support personnel.
KUA linemen competed in the Florida Lineman’s Competition on March 17, earning high marks and four trophies.
The American Public Power Association (www.appanet.org) is the national service organization representing the nation’s more than 2,000 community- and state-owned electric utilities.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent