Union Power Journeyman Josh Morrison joined 22 other electric cooperative linemen from across North Carolina on May 30 at the statewide Pole Top Rescue competition in Raleigh. This competition pits linemen against the clock and each other as they demonstrate essential lifesaving skills, as well as the technique and safety knowledge required to maintain the lines that provide power to members daily.
The championship, held every two years, demonstrates the skill and agility of co-op linemen in recognizing a victim in trouble on a power pole, reporting the incident by placing an emergency radio call, donning full climbing gear, scaling the pole, rigging a rope, and safely lowering the victim and beginning the CPR and first aid process.
The rescue scenario used at the Pole Top Rescue competition is the same scenario all North Carolina electric cooperative linemen must perform yearly in less than five minutes to maintain their certification to work on power lines. Previous winners have completed all the steps in this scenario in less than two minutes.
Competitors at the statewide event represent those with the best time and fewest errors from local competitions held at their electric co-ops. Judges time the runs and watch every move, adding to a competitor’s time for any lapses in safety procedures.
Performing a rescue is one of many skills linemen learn in a rigorous training program that emphasizes diligence and safety. Cooperative linemen work in a wide variety of jobs, including building, maintaining and repairing electric lines, poles, and other equipment, such as transformers, regulators, insulators, meters, and substation facilities. They also work to restore power after outages, and in times of major damage, they can be sent to other regions where they help co-op crews rebuild their systems. Pole Top Rescue training ensures that our linemen are ready to handle any life-threatening emergency that may arise as quickly and safely as possible.
2019 Pole Top Rescue Competition
See a video of Josh in this year's competition, plus learn more about the 2019 Pole Top Rescue.