Safety
Workforce
Press Release

Public power lineworkers demontrate skills at national Rodeo

Wake Forest, N.C., April 28—Eight teams and 13 individuals won awards at the American Public Power Association’s seventeenth annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, held April 27-28, in Raleigh/Wake Forest, N.C.

Sixty-six teams and 145 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.

“With the Rodeo, the name of the game is safety, training and celebrating the trade,” said Mike Hyland, senior vice president of engineering services at the American Public Power Association. “These guys are definitely having some fun though,” 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.

2018 PUBLIC POWER LINEWORKERS RODEO WINNERS

Apprentice - Overall
1st – Spencer Fredrick, Nebraska Public Power District
2nd – Josh Gabert, Jackson Energy Authority, Tennessee
3rd – Austin Gunther, Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida
4th – Jamie Anderson, Santee Cooper, South Carolina
5th – Ben Hanson, Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado
5th – Zack Zehner, Jackson Energy Authority, Tennessee

Apprentice - Double Dead-End Bell Change Out
1st – Daniel Kelly, Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida
2nd – Jack Battle, City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Florida
3rd – Austin Gunther, Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida

Apprentice - Hurtman Rescue
1st – Kort Key, Gainesville Regional Utilities, Florida
2nd – Zack Zehner, Jackson Energy Authority, Tennessee
3rd – Justin Estes, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, California

Apprentice - Rope Toss
1st – Josh Helton, City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Florida
2nd – Jeremy Starr, JEA, Florida
3rd – Jack Battle, City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Florida

Apprentice - Sidewalk Guy
1st – Jack Battle, City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Florida
2nd – Josh Helton, City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Florida
3rd –Tyler Homan, City of Ocala Utility Services, Florida

Apprentice - Written Test
1st – Spencer Fredrick, Nebraska Public Power District
2nd – Josh Gabert, Jackson Energy Authority, Tennessee
3rd – Austin Gunther, Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida

Journeyman - Overall
1st – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Dow Hardee, Drew Jordan, Joe Sawyer, and Chad Williams
2nd – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Jay Ayers, Johnny Brinson, and Kevin Rhode
3rd – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida: Austin Franey, Shane Paras, Billy White, and David Wolfe
4th – Turlock Irrigation District, California: Josh Klikna, Dustin Krieger, and Mike Patterson
5th – Roseville Electric, California: Kyle Giesser, Phillip Hartnett, and Matt Jones

Journeyman - Hurtman Rescue
1st – Sacramento Municipal Utility District, California: Ben Bassett, Tyler Dewitt, and Bradley Powell
2nd – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida: Austin Franey, Shane Paras, Billy White, and David Wolfe
3rd – City of Tallahassee Electric Utility, Florida: Blake Burns, Keith Kirkpatrick, and James Sanders

Journeyman - 4kV 600 Amp Switch Replacement
1st – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Dow Hardee, Drew Jordan, Joe Sawyer, and Chad Williams
2nd – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Jay Ayers, Johnny Brinson, and Kevin Rhode
3rd – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida: Austin Franey, Shane Paras, Billy White, and David Wolfe

Journeyman - 4kV Jumper Replacement
1st – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Jay Ayers, Johnny Brinson, and Kevin Rhode
2nd – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Dow Hardee, Drew Jordan, Joe Sawyer, and Chad Williams
3rd – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida: Austin Franey, Shane Paras, Billy White, and David Wolfe

Journeyman - 4kV Four Bell Change Out
1st – Nashville Electric Service, Tennessee: Tommy Barksdale, Derek Pennington, Jay Shannon, and Michael Shannon
2nd – Santee Cooper, South Carolina: Dow Hardee, Drew Jordan, Joe Sawyer, and Chad Williams
3rd – Roseville Electric, California: Kyle Giesser, Phillip Hartnett, and Matt Jones

Journeyman - 4kV Crossarm Change Out
1st – Roseville Electric, California: Kyle Giesser, Phillip Hartnett, and Matt Jones
2nd – Turlock Irrigation District, California: Josh Klikna, Dustin Krieger, and Mike Patterson
3rd – Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida: Austin Franey, Shane Paras, Billy White, and David Wolfe