Linemen Bring Their Best to Statewide Competition - Carolina Country
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Linemen Bring Their Best to Statewide Competition

They've got what it takes to work safely & keep the lights on

NCEC Pole Top Rescue 2016 2

Simmons races to the finish

Lineworkers from across the state gathered in Raleigh in September for the 15th biennial Pole Top Rescue Competition. Competitors at the statewide event represented those with the best time with fewest errors from local competition at their electric co-ops.

“You have the cream of the crop here representing co-ops across the state, and I think they’ve done an admirable job,” said Randolph EMC CEO Dale Lambert, who served as master of ceremonies at the event.

Rain held off during the morning, making for great conditions throughout the competition. Kenny Simmons of Pee Dee Electric scored the fastest time for the day at 1:39.31. He received the $1,000 prize for first place. Leonard Person of Tri-County EMC received the second-place prize of $500 with a time of 1:43.37. Chris Griffin of Union Power received the third-place prize of $400 with a time of 1:50.81. Griffin maintains the overall record with his 2014 competition time of 1:33.47.

Top Winners Pole Top 2016

(Clockwise from top) Simmons (Pee Dee Electric), Person (Tri-County EMC) and Griffin (Union Power) took first, second and third places in the competition.

The competition reflects a scenario in which a coworker is in need of rescue from atop a power pole. A lineman (the competitor) recognizes a victim (a 105-pound dummy nicknamed “Kool”) in trouble on a power pole and calls for assistance. Wearing full climbing gear and tools weighing up to 20 pounds, the lineman scales the pole to 20 feet, lowers Kool, and begins lifesaving procedures. All steps require specific activities, which are strictly enforced by judges.

The North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives sponsored the competition, which was overseen by NCAEC’s Job, Training & Safety division. Other sponsors of the 2016 event were Altec Industries, Inc.; National Transformer Sales, Inc.; Utility Service Agency, Inc.; and Wake Electric.

“This competition focuses on the most important job a lineman can do: Working safely,” Lambert said. “It also gives the public some sense of what it takes to work safely while keeping the lights on.”

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