Utility Linemen to Gather in Ocala for Statewide Rodeo

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 24, 2014 – Linemen from Kissimmee Utility Authority will travel to Ocala this weekend to compete in their very own version of a competitive rodeo.

Hosted by the Florida Municipal Electric Association, the 14th annual Florida Lineman Competition will draw top linemen from utilities across the state to compete in events based on traditional lineman tasks.

The event will begin with a safety training course on Friday, followed by the competition on Saturday. This year’s event will feature 21 journeyman teams and 25 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 this year’s 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. Both levels of competition will participate in five timed events.

Representing KUA in the journeyman competition will be:

Team 1 – Brent Davis, Chris Ketner, David Wolfe

Team 2 – Shane Paras, Willie Simmons, Jason Wright

Austin Franey, Ryan Henderson, Tony Nasco, Dillon Smathers and Chad Sullivan will compete in the apprentice competition.

Paul Therriault will serve as an event judge, Logan Murphy as an event chief judge and Aaron Haderle as the rodeo’s journeyman master judge.

The competition will be held at the Ocala Regional Sports Complex, 3500 SW 67th Ave., and is open to the public.

About FMEA
The Florida Municipal Electric Association represents the unified interests of 34 public power communities across the state that collectively serve three million Floridians.

About KUA
Founded in 1901, KUA (
www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 64,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.

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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-9836