Apprentice linemen and journeyman from Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative (EMC) travelled to Overland Park, Kansas, to showcase their skills at the International Lineman’s Rodeo, an annual event now in its 38th year.
After weeks of training and preparation, apprentice linemen William Gordy and Ivan Powell competed against 366 other apprentices from electric utilities across the country for the top spots in a series of events. Each apprentice had to complete a pole climb, hurtman rescue, roller relocation, armor rod installation and insulator change out as well as a written exam.
Judges score each participant on accuracy first and then time of completion if a tie breaker is needed. The two apprentices ranked well among 57 fellow co-op lineworkers in the REA division with Gordy placing 13th and Powell placing 26th.
Carroll EMC’s Vice President of Operations, Tommy Cook, partnered with Don Ritchey from Snapping Shoals EMC and Mike Benton from Georgia EMC to form a journeyman team. They ranked fifth in the senior division after finishing a pole climb, hurtman rescue, insulator changeout and broken switch replacement.
“Our guys deserve recognition for the all the work they put in,” said Cook. “But it takes more than just us participants to make the rodeo happen. I really appreciate Renae Taylor and Josh Walker for serving as judges, Wes Benfield for coaching our apprentices, David Baskin for transporting our rodeo equipment and Russell Williams for being the rodeo coordinator. It wouldn’t have happened without these individuals stepping up to help.”