Utility Lineworkers Showcase Skill and Safety at Statewide Event

ORLANDO, Fla., March 5, 2002 – Electric utility lineworkers from more than a dozen public utilities took part March 2 in the Second Annual Florida Lineman’s Competition where they competed for trophies and $3,000 in prizes donated by the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA).

More than 100 lineworkers, comprising 29 teams, participated in the day-long competition at Orlando Utilities Commission’s Camp Down in southwest Orlando. The event attracted more than 500 people and was organized by Florida Municipal Electric Association, a trade association representing the 32 municipal electric utilities in Florida.

Jacksonville Electric Authority took first place in the team competition, and Jamie Boswell of Kissimmee Utility Authority won first place in the apprentice division. The winning team received $2,500 from FMPA toward travel expenses to attend the 19th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo in Kansas City. The first place apprentice was awarded $500 to attend the international competition.

Participating lineworkers competed in five events with scoring based on skill, speed and safety, as judged by utility supervisors and foremen. Each three-member team participated in five events: pole climbing, hurt man rescue and three mystery events. Apprentices competed alone in climbing, rescue and one mystery event.

Spectators were attracted by the pole climb’s humorous consequences; participants were required to hold a raw egg in their mouth while climbing. A more somber task, the hurt man rescue, forced participants to retrieve a 180-pound mannequin from a 40-foot pole. Mystery events were composed of common lineworker repair tasks.

The competition was created as an opportunity for lineworkers to demonstrate their skills and knowledge, while emphasizing the use of safe procedures and fostering teamwork.

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