Columbus, Neb. – Linemen representing the Nebraska Public Power District demonstrated their skills and abilities by winning several awards during the American Public Power Association’s 15th annual, Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo. Held May 15-16, in Sacramento, Calif., and hosted by the Sacramento Municipal Utility.
Kearney Line Technician Chris Clausen earned fifth place in the Apprentice – Overall competition. A team including York Journey Line Technician Jared Rojewski, Norfolk Journey Line Technician Chad Sedlacek, Plattsmouth Senior Line Technician Brian Caba, and Bassett Local Manager Todd Keller placed fourth in the Journeyman – Overall competition. Also attending the rodeo and competing in the Apprentice Division was McCook Line Technician Tyler Brown. Serving as mentors for NPPD’s team were York Operations Program Manager Trevor Roth and Norfolk Distribution Superintendent Brent Arens.
“NPPD’s participants used outstanding professionalism, representing public power and Nebraska well,” commented Roth.
Seven teams and 14 individuals won awards. Fifty-eight teams and 86 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.
“Lineworkers are exposed to safety hazards in their jobs every day, similar to first responders, firefighters, farm workers, construction workers and security professionals,” said NPPD Transmission and Distribution Manager Joel Dagerman. “The training and skills NPPD invests in our lineworkers at events such as the APPA rodeo are important tools for us to better serve our customers and allow our Lineworker Teammates to go home safely….every day.”
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 APPA 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.