Safety
Press Release

Public power lineworkers demonstrate skills at national rodeo

Colorado Springs, Colo., April 1—Twelve teams and 13 individuals won awards at the American Public Power Association’s nineteenth annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, held March 29-30, in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Eighty teams and 133 apprentices from not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities across the nation participated. The “rodeo” is a series of competitive events demonstrating lineworker skills and safe work practices.

“This event is all about safety, comradery, and pride in the craft of linework,” said Mike Hyland, senior vice president of engineering services at the American Public Power Association. “But I think each and every one of the competitors will tell you they had some fun,” he added.

The awards honor lineworkers’ expertise, and the events are judged based upon safety, work practices, neatness, ability, equipment handling, and timely event completion. All safety rules established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the American Public Power Association’s Safety Manual were observed during events.

There are two levels of competition within the rodeo—journeyman and apprentice. The journeyman teams consist of three members—two climbers and a ground person—and can include an optional alternate. A qualified journeyman has more than four years of experience within the electric utility trade. An apprentice lineworker has four or fewer years of experience.

2019 PUBLIC POWER LINEWORKERS RODEO WINNERS

Apprentice - Overall

1st – Curtis Blase, Westerville Electric Division, Ohio

2nd – Michael Darby, Jackson Energy Authority, Tennessee

3rd – John Reger, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Florida

4th – Josh Helton, City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Florida

5th – Caleb Brickhouse, Greenville Utilities Commission, North Carolina

 

Apprentice - Three-Phase Fuse Replacement

1st – Philip Nelson, JEA, Florida

2nd – Dan Ash, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Florida

3rd – Justin Estes, SMUD, California

 

Apprentice - Hurtman Rescue

1st – Takoda Batenhorst, Lincoln Electric System, Nebraska

2nd – Dan Ash, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Florida

3rd – Riley Lowe, Lincoln Electric System, Nebraska

 

Apprentice - Load Transfer

1st – Cory Haag, Beaches Energy Services, Florida

2nd – Miguel Calderon, Memphis Light, Gas and Water, Tennessee

3rd – Brendan Laflamme, Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida

 

Apprentice - Service Connection

1st – Cory Haag, Beaches Energy Services, Florida

2nd – Andy Pierce, Lakeland Electric, Florida

3rd – Philip Nelson, JEA, Florida

 

Apprentice - Written Test

1st – John Reger, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Florida

2nd – Michael Darby, Jackson Energy Authority, Tennessee

3rd – Clay McClure, Cleveland Public Power, Ohio

 

Journeyman - Overall

1st – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Dow Hardee, Joe Sawyer, and Chad Williams

2nd – JEA, Florida: Michael Corbitt, Robert Hess, Gregory Johnson, and Chance Jones

3rd – Colorado Springs Utilities: Tyler Dimenza, John Rombeck, and Cody Strong

4th – Nashville Electric Service, Tennessee: Tommy Barksdale, Cody Roberts, Timmy Sanford, and Michael Shannon

5th – Colorado Springs Utilities: Robert Compton, Dylan McCain, and Brandon Morris

 

Journeyman - 4kV Alley Arm Insulator Change-Out

1st – City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Florida: Blake Burns, Keith Kirkpatrick, and James Sanders

2nd – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Jay Ayers, Johnny Brinson, and Kevin Rhode

3rd – Roseville Electric, California: Kyle Giesser, Phillip Hartnett, and Matt Jones

 

Journeyman - 12kV Arrester Change-Out

1st – City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Florida: Blake Burns, Keith Kirkpatrick, and James Sanders

2nd – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Jay Ayers, Johnny Brinson, and Kevin Rhode

3rd – Ocala Electric Utility, Florida: Cody Bondzinski, Tyler Homan, and Stephen Nice

 

Journeyman - Hurtman Rescue

1st – JEA, Florida: Josh Brown, Chris Childs, Davey Hicken, and Cody Stokes

2nd – SMUD, California: Justin Hirschi, Dwight Johnson, and Garrett Mcghehey

3rd – Kissimmee Utility Authority: Roberto Diaz, Austin Franey, Shane Paras, and Billy White

 

Journeyman - 12kV Pole Transfer

1st – JEA, Florida: Michael Corbitt, Robert Hess, Gregory Johnson, and Chance Jones

2nd – JEA, Florida: Josh Brown, Chris Childs, Davey Hicken, and Cody Stokes

3rd – Nashville Electric Service, Tennessee: Tommy Barksdale, Cody Roberts, Timmy Sanford, and Michael Shannon

 

Journeyman - URD Install

1st – Colorado Springs Utilities: Tyler Dimenza, John Rombeck, and Cody Strong

2nd – Colorado Springs Utilities: Robert Compton, Dylan McCain, and Brandon Morris

3rd – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Dow Hardee, Joe Sawyer, and Chad Williams