In a recent Q&A with the American Public Power Association, Fredrick Rumery, a construction coordinator with Nebraska public power utility Lincoln Electric System (LES) and a chief judge for the Association’s 2020 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, as well as Riley Lowe, an LES line technician 1st Class and Takoda Batenhorst, an LES apprentice line technician, discussed their plans for rodeo participation and the benefits of taking part in the event.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, which will be held in Kansas City, Mo., and Bonner Springs, Kansas, and hosted by the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU). The rodeo will be held April 17-18.
QUESTION: What are the key things that you are doing in terms of preparing for the Association’s lineworkers’ rodeo this year?
Rumery: As a Chief Judge, the process for preparing for the APPA Rodeo begins a year in advance. The process starts with a meeting comprised of other professionals in the industry who compile a list of events and training courses that are suited for the upcoming competitors. Throughout the year, monthly meetings are held to ensure that all of the planning is coming together to create a well-refined final product for the hard-working lineworkers to enjoy and learn from.
Lowe: Mental sharpness is one of the most important aspects when competing at the APPA Lineworker Rodeo. I will be working with my team to safely compete in each event in the fastest time possible. Practice makes perfect. Repetition will be key in perfecting the events we will be competing in. We have lots of events to practice for so focusing on one event at a time will help to compete at a high level.
Batenhorst: My preparation for the APPA rodeo begins with steady focus and visualization of the task at hand. My practice helps me stay comfortable and smooth when competing against other professionals from across the country.
QUESTION: What would you say are the benefits of participating in the Association’s lineworkers rodeo?
Rumery: Seeing the event from two different perspectives, a competitor and a judge, has provided me with a holistic view of all the benefits that the APPA Rodeo has to offer. The rodeo gives passionate line workers the opportunity to train extensively to hone their skills, compete against top professionals from around the nation, and most importantly, collaborate on topics such as safety and changes to the industry as they see it.
Every year I am amazed to see old friends, who only meet during one occasion a year, pick up on conversations like they had never ended. Around the corner from the old friends, new friendships from the next generation of lineworkers are being created to last a lifetime. The APPA Rodeo is an amazing networking tool, that creates a tight bond between like-minded individuals that no other industry can match.
Lowe: The APPA rodeo is a great opportunity for lineworkers to show their skills and knowledge of safety in our profession. You are going against some of the best lineworkers in the country. I enjoy seeing how other companies come up with ideas for the events we are competing in. Traveling to a different state and working in the environment is another benefit.
Batenhorst: Benefits of participating in the APPA rodeo include meeting lineworkers from around the country, learning different techniques and tools of the trade, sharpening my own skills as a lineworker as well as building camaraderie with my fellow LES lineworkers.