Don’t Miss the The 2022 Texas Lineman’s Rodeo

 

When: Saturday July 16


Where: Nolte Island Park — 2220 FM 466 Seguin, Texas

The 2022 Texas Lineman’s Rodeo is an event that allows linemen from around the state to showcase their line work skills in a fun, competitive way! Journeymen and apprentice linemen come from all over Texas to compete. Many cooperatives/utilities use the event to help prepare for the International Lineman’s Rodeo, held in Kansas each October.

GVEC Senior Executive Manager of Compliance & Safety Bobby Christmas was a key figure in helping create the Rodeo. One of the primary drivers behind establishing it, he explained, was a desire to give linemen families and the public at large a real-life glimpse into what linemen do on the job every day. Competing linemen eagerly show off the techniques and dedication required for their difficult jobs as friends and family watch and cheer.

The crowds take great pride supporting the linemen, often making signs or sometimes wearing T-shirts with their lineman’s name on them–and the 2022 Texas Lineman’s Rodeo will likely be no different in that regard. “People know when their power goes out,” Christmas said. “They know when it comes back on, and although they’re appreciative, most don’t realize all the effort involved that happens in outage restoration.”

The Rodeo is also designed to help educate linemen on safe work procedures while on the job. The competition features five team events for apprentice and journeymen teams—the pole climb, hurtman rescue, tool inspection and two mystery events. Additionally, each apprentice linemen must complete a written test. This test, combined with the mystery events, forces participants to study for and practice a multitude of skills. “The Rodeo really helps
build comradery among the teams and sharpens their ability to work safely in a high-stress environment,” Christmas said.

The pole climb and hurtman rescue events tend to be crowd favorites. For the pole climb, wearing full safety gear weighing approximately 50 pounds, competitors climb up and then back down a 40 ft. pole with a raw egg in a pouch held in their mouths. They’re judged on how fast their time is and whether the egg gets broken during the climb. The hurtman rescue demonstrates how hazardous a linemen’s job is and how they’d handle a situation requiring rescue of an injured coworker. Still fully suited up, the linemen must successfully rescue a 120-pound mannequin from the top of a pole without letting it hit the pole or fall to the ground.

Regardless of the competition’s outcome, Christmas added, in the end, everyone wins. Participating linemen come away more practiced and knowledgeable about their jobs and this, in turn, empowers them to deliver the most dependable electric service possible across the Cooperative’s service area.

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