Line personnel across Illinois gathered in Springfield on Sept. 21 for the annual Lineworker’s Safety Rodeo, coordinated by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives. Eighteen teams from 14 electric co-ops and two municipal electric utilities participated in the friendly competition.
The rodeo highlighted the skills lineworkers use every day to keep the power on. While competitors were scored on agility, speed and accuracy, those skills are secondary to safety when it comes to linework. Judges scored safe work above all else. In the real world, linework isn’t about getting the job done quickly, it is about completing the job safely.
Held at the Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC) Line School Yard in Springfield, participants competed in team and individual events, including a 40-foot climb, pole-top rescue, H-structure obstacle course, a cutout change event, and a head-to-head climbing challenge.
Scores for each event were based on completion time, proper execution of the task and safety. Deductions were made to a team’s or individual’s overall performance score due to mistakes such as slipping when climbing poles, dropping tools or executing inappropriate procedures or methods.
Upon completion of events and after scores were tabulated, Shelby Electric Cooperative (SEC) lineworkers Jamie Sharp, Dalton Brown and Brian Chevalier, who combined as a three-man team, won Best Overall Team for the second year in a row. Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative lineworker Drayton Davis won the Best Overall Individual award.
The final event of the rodeo was a climbing challenge — a head-to-head event that required lineworkers to climb up a 40-foot pole, ring a bell and climb back down. The fastest speed moved to the next round; however, participants were automatically disqualified for safety violations, including slips, because speed is secondary to safety. Mike Smith, a lineworker representing Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association, was named the victor of the challenge.
For full results, go to icl.coop.
Pictured above: Shelby Electric Cooperative’s team of Dalton Brown, Brian Chevalier and Jamie Sharp won Best Overall Team for the second year in a row.