KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 1, 2:15 pm — In a county steeped in rodeo tradition, the linemen of Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) will represent Osceola County on Saturday in the second annual Florida Lineman’s Competition.
Sponsored by the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA), the Lineman’s Rodeo is one in which the participants will straddle poles, not ponies, and where the danger will not come from bucking animals but the deadly burst of electrical power. And in a profession where a mistake can mean disaster or death, the combination of skill, safety and speed is crucial.
“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 corporate communications. “The competition will help keep our linemen’s skill level high and give them a spirit of competition.”
The rodeo will take place from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm on Saturday, March 2, at Camp Down in Windermere. Twenty-seven teams from more than a dozen of Florida’s electric utilities will exhibit their craft and showcase their skills as they compete for the honor to be the state’s best utility linemen.
KUA employees John Chapin, Mike Fulmore, Gary Guinan, Aaron Haderle, Ronnie Hardee, Virgil Minshew, Luis Santiago, Bruce Thompson, and Joe Watson will compete in the team competition. Jamie Boswell, Scott Grieves and Logan Murphy will represent KUA in the apprentice competition.
Competitors will participate in pre-established known and mystery events. Events include pole top rescue, pole speed climb with raw egg, and three mystery events — all without live electricity.
The event is free and the public is invited to attend all or a portion of the event. Details and directions can be found online at http://www.publicpower.com/2002linemanscompetition.html
KUA is Florida’s 6th largest community-owned utility serving 58,000 electric, water and Internet customers in four Central Florida counties. KUA celebrated its 100th year of serving the community in 2001.
Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116