Public power lineworkers from across the state were recognized at today’s Florida Cabinet meeting for their service to their communities and outstanding performance at two recent lineworker competitions. Twenty-seven lineworkers representing City of Tallahassee Utilities, Fort Pierce Utilities Authority, Gainesville Regional Utilities, JEA (Jacksonville), Kissimmee Utility Authority, Ocala Electric Utility and Orlando Utilities Commission were presented with a resolution by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnam that highlighted their achievements at state and national lineworker competitions.
“For lineworkers, going to work means literally putting your life on the line. Safety and keeping their skills sharp are necessities of the job. The accolades Florida public power lineworkers received at both lineworker competitions are more than just awards; they are demonstrative of their excellent performance and commitment to safety out in the field every single day,” said Amy Zubaly, Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) Executive Director. “It’s incredibly gratifying to have our hometown heroes recognized at the state level and we appreciate the Florida Cabinet acknowledging their contributions to their communities and state.”
In March, more than 130 lineworkers participated in the FMEA 18th annual Florida Lineman Competition, which was held in Kissimmee this year. The Overall Journeymen Team Winners Cup went to Robert Hess, Brian Gregg and Greg Johnson from JEA. Taking home the Overall Apprentice award was Justin Johnson of the City of Tallahassee.
The following month, a strong contingent of Florida public power lineworkers competed in the American Public Power Association’s 2018 Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, which took place in Wake Forest, N.C. Florida public power lineworkers took home awards in every event category except one. In three of the apprentice event categories, Florida public power lineworkers swept the awards. The total number of awards bestowed on Florida apprentices and journeyman teams was 18 – more than any other state.
Both competitions highlight a series of competitive events demonstrating lineworker skills and safe work practices. The awards honor lineworkers’ expertise, and the events are judged based upon safety, work practices, neatness, ability, equipment handling, and timely event completion.
Florida has 34 public power communities, which employ approximately 1,000 lineworkers.