Attendees of the 2016 Nebraska State Fair got a front row seat to experience how utility companies deliver power to their customers during the annual Lineworkers Rodeo event. This year marked the fifth year of the rodeo where apprentice lineworkers and journeyman lineworkers with at least four years of experience competed in separate events.
The Lineworkers Rodeo is an opportunity for journeyman to show the public the difficulty of their jobs and the amount of training that goes into learning the trade. “What we do is hard,” said Paul Moody, an Apprentice Lineman for Lincoln Electric System. “It’s just good to realize what we do for our communities,” he added.
Crick Hasenpflug, Crew Leader for Lincoln Electric System said that the event showcases the dangerous aspects of the job that journeyman linemen perform every day. Lineman at Lincoln Electric are required to undergo a two-year program to ensure that they learn all of the necessary skills to do their jobs safely.
The Apprentice Competition consisted of four separate events. Event #1 was a 25-minute written test on safety. Event #2 was the “hurtman” mannequin event. In this event a mannequin is placed at the top of a pole and the apprentice must rescue the mannequin. In the third event, the apprentice performed a three phase secondary connection and the final event consisted of a rope toss requiring knots from the Lineman’s handbook.
The Journeyman contest consisted of similar events on a more complicated scale, including a demonstration that involved working with a mock downed powerline. All of the events were timed.
Lineworkers said that they appreciated the support and recognition that they received from the event. The Rodeos take place in several other states across the country throughout the summer months and showcases the skills and teamwork necessary to succeed in these events, and on the job.