Lineworkers from across the state competed for top honors this past weekend at the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) 17th annual Florida Lineman Competition. A crowd of more than a thousand looked on as lineworkers put their skills to the test performing tasks they encounter in real-world scenarios. Tasks range from replacing cross arm beams to relocating transformers to rescuing an injured lineman. Competitors earn points for completing the tasks as quickly as possible and lose points if safety standards and proper work practices are not met. This year’s event was hosted by Lakeland Electric and held at Tigertown Complex in Lakeland.
More than 150 lineworkers participated, including teams and apprentices from Lakeland Electric, Keys Energy (Key West), Tallahassee, JEA (Jacksonville), Alachua, Lake Worth, Fort Pierce Utilities Authority, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), Orlando Utilities Commission, Beaches Energy (Jacksonville Beach), Kissimmee Utility Authority and Ocala, as well competitors from Talquin Electric Cooperative, Clay Electric Cooperative and Scottsburg, IN.
Journeymen, those have been in the industry for at least five years, competed in teams of three. Apprentices, or lineworkers in training, competed individually.
This year, the Overall Journeymen Team Winners Cup went to Terry Cobb, Nick Ellis and Jason Smith from the City of Tallahassee electric utility. Taking home the Overall Apprentice award was Mike Morgan of GRU.
“The annual lineman competition showcases the work lineworkers do on a daily basis and provide people with an opportunity to see linework in action,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Interim Executive Director. “We extend our congratulations to the winners and our deepest appreciation to all the lineworkers across the state who literally put their lives on the line every day. Their impact on their communities is profound as we recently witnessed following Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew. We thank them for their service.”
Established in 2001 by the FMEA, the Florida Lineman Competition brings together public power lineworkers from across the state to demonstrate their skill and knowledge in the craft of line work. At the competition, journeyman and apprentices compete for professional recognition, attend training courses and practice essential skills in a safe environment. The competition encourages safety awareness, teamwork and networking with other utilities.
For more information on FMEA and the Florida Lineman Competition, please visit www.publicpower.com.