Electric co-op line crews were in top form at the 2019 Georgia Lineman’s Rodeo held on Saturday, May 4, at the FFA Camp John Hope in Perry.
Professional journeyman teams and apprentices with EMCs across the state, including Carroll EMC, competed with teams and apprentices from municipal electric systems across Georgia.
Carroll EMC linemen teams took one of the top spots in two of the journeyman events. Dylan England, Jacob Moore, and Steve Harvey took second place in the Journeyman Hot Jumper Change Mystery event. Vice President of Operations and former journeyman, Tommy Cook, placed first in the Journeyman Senior Division with partners Don Ritchey, with Snapping Shoals EMC, and Jack Rider, with Georgia EMC.
According to Cook, the Lineman’s Rodeo is a rare opportunity to watch linemen from across the state display the skills and talent necessary to succeed in the profession. National studies consistently rank power line installers and repairers among the most dangerous jobs in the country. Laboring high in the air wearing heavy equipment while working directly with high voltage creates a serious combination for what can be a dangerous and unforgiving profession. However, electric line workers, such as those with Carroll EMC, are committed to safety and the challenges of the job.
Now in its 25th year, the Lineman’s Rodeo has become popular with utility workers and the public, since the competition gives linemen an opportunity to showcase their unique skills and talent before family and friends. Many in the profession agree that a good support system at home is vital. While spending the day watching these workers, family and friends better understand and support the linemen’s commitment to the greater community during severe storms and power outages.
“EMC journeyman linemen and apprentices are among the best in their field in Georgia and across the nation,” said Cook. “Their participation in the rodeo is important since it serves as a continuing education opportunity for them with a focus on safety and training. The crews really enjoy it because it’s also a great time to build relationships with other electric utilities in Georgia and the Southeast.”
This year, 76 EMC apprentices and 29 EMC journeyman teams competed in four events each. Both groups were tested in Hurt-Man Rescue and two mystery events. Additionally, the apprentices competed in a Tank Mount Arrester Change event and the journeymen competed in a Switch Relocation event.
EMC linemen competed from Blue Ridge Mountain EMC in Young Harris, Carroll EMC in Carrollton, Central Georgia EMC in Jackson, Cobb EMC in Marietta, Flint Energies in Reynolds, GreyStone Power in Douglasville, Habersham EMC in Clarkesville, Jackson EMC in Jefferson, Okefenoke REMC in Nahunta, Snapping Shoals EMC in Covington, Walton EMC in Monroe and Washington EMC in Sandersville.
The Georgia Lineman Rodeo Association is composed of members from the electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) in Georgia and the Electric Cities of Georgia. To learn more about the Georgia Lineman’s Rodeo, visit www.garodeo.com.