KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 9, 2011 – The best linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority will travel to Nashville, Tenn. next week to compete in their very own version of the rodeo.
Hosted by the American Public Power Association, the 11th annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo attracts top 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 March 18, followed by the competition on March 19. This year’s rodeo includes 54 journeyman teams and 70 apprentices.
“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 to respond to outages as we enter our annual storm 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 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 Chris Ketner, Steve Bray and David Wolfe with Dustin Kelley serving as alternate. Robert Diaz and Billy White will compete in the apprentice competition. Logan Murphy will serve as support personnel.
The American Public Power Association (http://publicpower.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 64,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Chris M. Gent