KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 3, 2020 – Twelve linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority will compete against linemen from other utilities throughout the state in the 20th annual Florida Lineman Competition on Saturday, March 14 in Tallahassee.
Hosted by the Florida Municipal Electric Association, the day-long rodeo allows electric linemen to demonstrate their skill, safety and teamwork in a series of timed events based on traditional lineman tasks.
This year’s competition will feature 24 journeyman teams and 77 apprentices.
“This annual rodeo enables linemen to compete for professional recognition and practice essential skills in a safe environment,” said Larry Mattern, KUA’s vice president of operations. “The competition builds teamwork and tests the readiness of our crews as we prepare for this year’s storm 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 – with more than four years of lineworker experience. An apprentice lineworker competes as an individual and has four or fewer years of experience in an apprentice program. Both levels of competition will participate in five timed events.
Representing KUA in the journeyman competition will be:
Team 1 – Austin Franey, Shane Paras and Billy White
Team 2 – Nathan Gault, Danny Kelly and Kevon McKinsey
Cory Breen, Chris Kitting, Brendan Laflamme, Ethan Shellabarger, Billy Sutphin and Shane Yarborough will compete in the apprentice competition.
George Blair, Willie Simmons, Dave Wolfe and Jason Wright will serve as event judges. Intern Chase Fuller will serve in a support role.
The competition will be held at the Tallahassee Automobile Museum, 6800 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32308. The competition begins with opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The Florida Municipal Electric Association represents the unified interests of 33 public power communities across the state that collectively serve 1.4 million customers.
Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 80,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla. For more information, visit https://kua.com.