A world championship in doing your job flawlessly, safely and with excellence?
Inspiring, uplifting and electrifying – and taking place this very weekend!
Come on down to the International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo, an annual competition held in Kansas, celebrating the linework trade.
The event attracts the world’s best linemen to compete in activities based on the industry’s traditional tasks and skills. This year’s championship will be held this Saturday, October 13th, in Bonner Springs, Kansas.
The Lineman’s Rodeo has a rich history, dating back to its first event in September 1984. Back then the competition saw 12 participating teams hailing from Kansas and Missouri. Since then, the Rodeo has gone international and now includes over 200 teams – including representatives from the Philippines, Jamaica, and Ireland!
How did something like this start up? According to their website, the three founders, Tom White, the President of TWSCO, a linework materials vendor, Dale Warman, a supervisor for Kansas City Power and Light, and Charlie Young, a supervisor for Southwest Line Construction, decided to organize the competition for the following noble reasons:
The primary purposes of the event then as now was to help maintain a focus on safety and safe work practices, to provide a forum for the public to better understand and recognize the technical craft skills the linemen have, and to provide an opportunity for the professionals craftspeople in the linework trade to receive recognition for their skills. One other purpose has always been for the participants to have fun while sharing work knowledge with others in their trade from different companies and different parts of the country.
If only every field service industry was as celebrated! Here are five facts about the linework trade:
- In the 1840s, as the telegraph came into widespread use, the occupation began and grew.
- The trade evolved during the 1940s and 50s, while household electricity became more popular.
- In 1958, the United States Supreme Court ruled on a case involving a lineman harmed while working for a South Carolina power company: Byrd v. Blue Ridge Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc..
- Actor Richard Dreyfuss plays a lineman for an Indiana power company in the 1977 film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
- Linemen personal protective gear must be regularly tested using high voltage electrical testing equipment.
Good luck this weekend!