KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 29, 2011 – The best linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority will travel to Ocala this week to compete in their very own version of the rodeo.
Hosted by the Florida Municipal Electric Association, the 11th annual Florida Lineman Competition attracts top linemen from utilities across the state to compete in events based on traditional lineman tasks.
The event begins with training and a series of safety courses on April 1, followed by the competition on April 2. This year’s competition features 15 journeyman teams and 37 apprentices.
“This annual rodeo enables linemen to test their knowledge and skills in a fun, competitive environment,” said Ken Davis, KUA’s vice president of engineering and operations. “The competition builds teamwork and tests the readiness of our crews as we enter storm season.”
There are two levels of competition within the rodeo: journeyman teams and apprentice. 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 Chris Ketner, Steve Bray and David Wolfe, with Dustin Kelley serving as alternate. Patrick Conrad, Brent Davis, Robert Diaz, Justin Little, Josh Miller, Shane Paras, Jaret Rivers and Billy White will compete in the apprentice competition.
Aaron Haderle, Paul Therriault and Jamie Bowell will serve as event judges, and Logan Murphy will serve as support personnel.
The Florida Municipal Electric Association represents the unified interests of 34 public power communities across the state that collectively serve three million Floridians.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 64,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Chris M. Gent