KISSIMMEE, Fla., May 5, 2017 – Six linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority arrived in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday to compete in the 17th annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo.
Hosted by the American Public Power Association, the event attracts top linemen from utilities across the United States and several U.S. territories to demonstrate their skill and knowledge in the craft of linework. This year’s rodeo will feature 73 teams and 157 apprentices.
The event begins with a series of training and safety courses today, followed by Saturday’s competition.
“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. Danny Kelly and Lars Akkerman will compete in the apprentice competition. In addition, Aaron Haderle will serve as the rodeo’s journeyman master judge, and Brian Horton and Bruce Thompson will serve as support staff.
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 70,000 customers in Osceola County, Florida.