CREWE – A total of 14 electric line workers from Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) competed in the 11th annual Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo April 5th and 6th at the Caroline County Agricultural Fairgrounds near Ruther Glen, VA.
In the journeyman lineman competition, the team of Brad Ashwell, Travis Layne and Troy Burgess placed first in the “Hurt Man Rescue” competition, out of 24 teams from nine states.
Apprentice linemen Will Southworth, Trevor Robertson and Tommy Byrd swept the climbing skills demonstration test, winning the top three spots respectively out of 40 competitors. In the apprentice “Hurt Man Rescue” event Byrd also took the top spot, with SEC’s Brandon Rust finishing third. Rust also placed third in the “CPR with A.E.D.” competition while Byrd placed first in the “Primary Neutral Sag” competition.
In addition, SEC employees Orlin Clarke, Steven Carson Jr., Darryl Dinwiddie and Tony Powell served as judges for the rodeo’s competitive events.
The two-day competition brought 121 utility workers from as far away as South Carolina and Rhode Island, and included a team from the U.S. Army. As the only event of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo offers professional linemen the opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills as they perform a variety of designated electric line-work tasks. Their performances are timed and scored, with safe work practices the most important factor in judging.
“The Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo promotes safety and teamwork,” noted Jeff Edwards, SEC’s president and CEO. “We are proud that our line workers excelled in this year’s rodeo events. The job they do to ‘keep the lights on’ for our members is a dangerous one, but it’s also critically important. Despite working in all types of weather to restore service following several major outage events in the past year, SEC linemen have maintained our co-op’s outstanding record of safety.”
Journeyman participants also included Kinte Robinson, Donnell Taylor, and Jeremy Cranford. The apprentice competition also included Nick Chumney, Blake Poindexter, Ashley Tuck and Justin Wood.
Headquartered in Crewe, Southside Electric Cooperative is a member-owned electric-distribution utility serving more than 54,000 meters throughout southern and central Virginia. For more information about the cooperative, visit www.sec.coop. For more information and photos from this year’s event, visit www.gaff-n-go.com.