Nebraska State Fair Features First-Ever Electric Lineworkers’ Rodeo

LINCOLN, NEB. — 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 first-ever Nebraska Lineworkers’ Rodeo, August 24-25, at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island.

“Nebraska’s lineworkers follow a strict safety code to minimize the chances for accidents and injuries,” said Jim Fischer, director of transmission and distribution construction for Lincoln Electric System and co-manager of the lineworkers’ rodeo.

“At the rodeo, lineworkers will compete, demonstrating best practices for working safely and effectively,” said Jill Watkins, manager of internal operations for Lincoln Electric System and co-manager of the lineworkers’ rodeo.

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.

The Lineworkers’ Rodeo competition format provides Nebraska’s electric lineworkers an opportunity to showcase their skills and knowledge through events that simulate real-life situations. 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.

“Electric lineworkers work in dangerous settings to make sure our lights come back quickly after severe weather,” Fischer said. “In emergency restoration situations, lineworkers can put in long hours climbing utility poles, handling heavy equipment and working around energized wires.”

More information about the lineworkers’ rodeo can be found by going to the Nebraska Lineworkers’ Rodeo website.

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 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.

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