Osceola “Electric Cowboys” to Compete at Statewide Rodeo

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 30, 9:00 a.m. — The best linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) will join linemen from utilities throughout Florida on Apr. 1-2 to compete in their very own version of the rodeo.

The fifth annual Florida Lineman’s Competition begins Friday and continues through Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla. The purpose of the rodeo is to recognize the profession of line work as well as demonstrate the safety, skill and education of electric linemen.

“The focus of the rodeo is for participants to perform their skills in a technical, proficient manner, with safety being their number one priority,” said Chris Gent, KUA’s manager of corporate communications. “The competition helps keep skill level high while giving the linemen a spirit of competition.”

There are two levels of competition within the rodeo: journeyman and apprentice. The journeyman teams consist of three members — two climbers and a ground person. A qualified journeyman has more than four years of experience within the electric utility trade. An apprentice lineworker has four or fewer years of experience. This year’s competition includes 21 journeyman teams and 18 apprentices.

KUA’s first journeyman team is made up of Aaron Haderle, Logan Murphy and David Wolfe; the second is led by Jamie Boswell, Mike Fulmore and Luis Santiago. Dustin Kelley and Chris Ketner will compete individually in the apprentice competition.

Henry Kurnick will serve as a chief judge and Scott Grieves and Gary Guinan will serve as event judges. Bill Groover and Alberto Mercado will serve as support personnel.

The journeyman competition consists of five timed events: bell replacement, crossarm change out, hurtman rescue, wire down and lamp and photocell replacement. The apprentice competition also includes five timed events.

All areas of the competition will be conducted without the use of live electricity.

Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric, water, and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.

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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116