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Florida utilities enjoy big day at 13th Annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo


From the March 26, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published March 26, 2013

By David Blaylock
Manager, Integrated Media

The weather prediction called for rainfall throughout the day and some heavy rain came with dawn, yet the clouds opened and the 13th Annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo took place Saturday, March 23 in Kissimmee, Fla. Journeyman teams and apprentices competed in a series of events that highlighted their job knowledge, speed and safety awareness.

The 59 journeyman teams and 76 apprentices were later recognized for their work at an awards banquet where trophies were presented for overall performance and for each of the 10 events.


Matt McCurdy of California's Modesto Irrigation District, right, took first place overall in the apprentice competition. He is pictured with Bob Rumbaugh of AMP, who was the apprentice master judge. Photo by Skip Stowers

For the first time since 2006, a team from the host utility won the top prize as Kissimmee Utility Authority’s Chris Ketner, Brent Davis, and David Wolfe took the first overall trophy for journeyman events. Ketner and Wolfe were on the KUA team that came in fourth place last year.
 
The first overall prize was part of a dominant night for Florida utilities, which accounted for two or three winners in all of the journeyman events thanks to strong showings from teams from KUA, JEA in Jacksonville, city of Ocala Utility Services, and Lakeland Electric. JEA and the city of Tallahassee Electric Utility also had apprentices place.
 
KUA was joined by two teams from Sacramento Municipal Utility District in California, and one each from JEA and the city of New Bern, N.C., in the winners’ circle for overall journeyman events.
 
In the apprentice events, Matt McCurdy of Modesto Irrigation District in California took first place overall. Rounding out the top five were Nate Hutchinson of Piqua Power System of Ohio, Brandon Morris of Colorado Springs Utilities in Colorado, Jordan Walsh of Nebraska Public Power District of Columbus, Neb., and Jerry Perkins of Piqua Power System.

Events this year included cross-arm relocation, hurtman rescue, insulator change-out, rope toss, and a written safety test for apprentices; and two-phase horizontal cut out change-out, cross-arm change-out, URD, suspension bell change out, and hurtman rescue for journeymen.

For competition, a qualified journeyman has more than four years of experience in the electric utility trade; an apprentice lineworker has four or fewer years of experience.

For a glance of the day’s events, APPA has posted a YouTube video.


First prize overall in the journeyman competition went to the team of Chris Ketner, Brent Davis and David Wolfe of Kissimmee Utility Authority, the host utility for this year's rodeo. Photo by Skip Stowers


The complete list of trophy winners:

Apprentice – Overall
First Place – Matt McCurdy, Modesto Irrigation District, Calif.
Second Place – Nate Hutchinson, Piqua Power System, Ohio
Third Place – Brandon Morris, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Fourth Place – Jordan Walsh, Nebraska Public Power District, Columbus, Neb.
Fifth Place – Jerry Perkins, Piqua Power System, Ohio

Apprentice – Cross-Arm Relocation
First Place – Jimmy Boere, Modesto Irrigation District, Calif.
Second Place – Justin Hirschi, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.
Third Place – Rorry Malia, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.

Apprentice – Hurtman Rescue
First Place – Justin Hirschi, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.
Second Place – Gary Griffin, JEA, Jacksonville, Fla.
Third Place – Joseph Cowley, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.

Apprentice – Insulator Change-Out
First Place – Eric Savoy, Lafayette Utilities System, La.
Second Place – Justin Hirschi, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.
Third Place – Rorry Malia, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.

Apprentice – Rope Toss
First Place – Lance Trahan, Lafayette Utilities System, La.
Second Place – Blake Burns, City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Fla.
Third Place – Chris Poston, Marietta Power, Ga.

Apprentice – Written Test
First Place – Matt McCurdy, Modesto Irrigation District, Calif.
Second Place – Nate Hutchinson, Piqua Power System, Ohio
Third Place – Brandon Morris, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colo.

Journeymen – Overall
First Place – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Fla.: Chris Ketner, Brent Davis, and David Wolfe
Second Place – Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.: Cayleb Bowman, Matthew Wilson, and Todd Prangley
Third Place – JEA, Jacksonville, Fla.: Robert Hess, Alan Singley, Brian Gregg, and Tracy Haas
Fourth Place – Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.: Lucas Raley, Branden Carter, and John Moe
Fifth Place – City of New Bern, N.C.: Mike Harper, Brian Small, Bruce Smith, and David Brayboy

Journeymen – Two-Phase Horizontal Cut Out Change-Out
First Place – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Fla.: Chris Ketner, Brent Davis, and David Wolfe
Second Place – City of Ocala Utility Services, Fla.: Matt Brown, John Fullbright, and Wesley Fleming
Third Place – Lakeland Electric, Fla.: Dwayne Goostree, Justin Devaisher, and Matthew Thomas

Journeymen – Cross-Arm Change-Out
First Place – JEA, Jacksonville, Fla.: Robert Hess, Alan Singley, Brian Gregg, and Tracy Haas
Second Place – Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.: Cayleb Bowman, Matthew Wilson, and Todd Prangley
Third Place – Lakeland Electric, Fla.: Cody Allen, Robert Padgett, Chance Grimes, and Cody Allen

Journeymen – Hurtman Rescue
First Place – Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.: Cayleb Bowman, Matthew Wilson, and Todd Prangley
Second Place – JEA, Jacksonville, Fla.: Jon Sabo, Gregory Johnson, Larry Sparks, and Edward Prescott
Third Place – JEA, Jacksonville, Fla.: Clay Cook, Tommy Hayes, Lonnie Barr, and Jeremy Whittemore

Journeymen – URD
First Place – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Fla.: Jason Wright, Richard Perez, and Clay Campbell
Second Place – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Fla.: Chris Ketner, Brent Davis, and David Wolfe
Third Place – Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.: Cayleb Bowman, Matthew Wilson, and Todd Prangley

Journeymen – Suspension Bell Change-Out
First Place – Lakeland Electric, Fla.: Dwayne Goostree, Justin Devaisher, and Matthew Thomas
Second Place – Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Calif.: Cayleb Bowman, Matthew Wilson, and Todd Prangley
Third Place – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Fla.: Chris Ketner, Brent Davis, and David Wolfe.

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