Nebraska Lineworkers’ Rodeo Returns to State Fair

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, July 16, 2013—Electric lineworkers typically operate behind the scenes to make sure customers’ lights and air conditioners stay on. But this summer, electric lineworkers from across Nebraska will take center stage as they compete at the second annual Nebraska Lineworkers’ Rodeo, August 23-24, at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island.

If there’s a storm or a major electrical problem, a lineman is the person who would fix the downed wire.

“The rodeo allows Nebraska’s electric lineworkers an opportunity to showcase their skills and knowledge through events that mimic real-life situations,” said Jill Watkins, manager of internal operations for Lincoln Electric System and co-manager of the lineworkers’ rodeo.

At the rodeo, two-person crews will be judged on their ability to perform work tasks safely and quickly. For spectators, it’s an opportunity to see lineworkers perform tasks they do on a daily basis and understand more about how power comes on at the flip of a switch. The rodeo participants will also demonstrate tasks only conducted in emergency, rescue situations.

More information about the lineworkers’ rodeo can be found at Video from last year’s rodeo can be seen at

According to event officials, Nebraska’s lineworkers follow a strict safety code to minimize the chances for accidents and injuries. By working safely and efficiently, Nebraska’s lineworkers contribute to keeping electric costs low. Costly injuries can be prevented when lineworkers follow established safety procedures. When these workers operate effectively in the field, it reduces the number of crews that must be dispatched to restore power after severe weather.

“Electric lineworkers work in dangerous settings to make sure our lights come back quickly after severe weather,” said Jim Fischer, director of transmission and distribution construction for Lincoln Electric System and co-manager of the lineworkers’ rodeo. “In emergency restoration situations, lineworkers can put in long hours climbing utility poles, handling heavy equipment and working around energized wires.”

“This event also gives families and friends a chance to see what the men do on a daily basis while giving them the confidence to perform certain tasks on their jobs,” said Jill Watkins, manager of internal operations for Lincoln Electric System and co-manager of the lineworkers’ rodeo.

The Nebraska Lineworkers’ Rodeo is organized by: City of Grand Island; Lincoln Electric System; Loup Power District; Moehn Electrical Sales Company; Metropolitan Community College; the Nebraska Rural Electric Association; Nebraska Public Power District; Nebraska State Fair; Northeast Community College; Omaha Public Power District; and the Southern Power District. All of the hosting utilities are members of the Nebraska Power Association (NPA), the state-wide organization of 169 locally owned electric utilities providing electric service across Nebraska.

About the NPA: Headquartered in Lincoln, the Nebraska Power Association is the non-profit organization representing the state’s 169 publicly owned utilities. The NPA was founded in 1980 to align, coordinate and further the work of the state’s locally owned utilities. Nebraska is the only state in the U.S. where all residents and businesses are served by locally owned utilities, municipal utilities and public power districts. Click here to learn more about NPA, its members and its mission.

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