KUA Linemen Testing Skills at International Rodeo

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., September 6, 11:00 am — The best linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) have joined linemen from other utilities around the world to participate in their very own version of the rodeo. And in a profession where a mistake can mean disaster or death, their combination of skill, safety and speed will prove crucial in the competition.

The 18th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo begins today and continues through Saturday in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The rodeo attracts the best linemen from around the world to compete in events based on traditional lineman tasks. The first rodeo was held in September 1984, with twelve participating teams from Kansas and Missouri. The rodeo has grown now to over 200, three-man teams and more than 120 apprentices from across the U.S. and around the world.

Aaron Haderle, Bruce Thompson, and Joe Watson make up KUA’s three-man team. Jamie Boswell, Scott Grieves, and Logan Murphy are competing individually in the apprentice competition. Bill Groover, Henry Kurnick, and Virgil Minshew are serving as support personnel and judges at the event.

The team competitions consist of six timed events. Each year three are standard: a pole climb in which participants must hold a raw egg in their mouths, a “double dead end hot tap,” and a hurt-man rescue. In addition, three mystery events are scheduled, but participants will not know the nature of these events until just before the rodeo begins. All areas of the competition are conducted without the use of live electricity.

“The focus of the rodeo is for the participants to perform their skills in a technical, proficient manner, with safety being the #1 priority,” said Chris Gent, KUA’s manager of communications. “The competition helps keep our linemen’s skill level high and gives them a spirit of competition.”

More than 4,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event.

KUA’s is Florida‘s 7th largest community-owned utility serving 53,000 electric, water and Internet customers in four Central Florida counties. KUA is celebrating its 100th year of serving the community in 2001.

Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116