by jamesc 8/28/2014 9:05:53 AM --
GRAND ISLAND – Six faculty members at Northeast Community College took part in an event that highlights the work of the electric power industry. The third annual Lineworker’s Rodeo was held recently at the Nebraska State Fair’s Motor Sports Track in Grand Island.
Each year, electric lineworkers from throughout Nebraska strap on their leather gloves, hard hats and steel spikes to test their skills in a competition of speed, accuracy, safety and knowledge in the rodeo. Rodeo participants will also demonstrate tasks only conducted in emergency, rescue situations.
“The rodeo allows Nebraska's lineworkers an opportunity to showcase their skills and knowledge through events that mimic real-life situations,” said Brian Winfield, co-manager of the lineworkers' rodeo.
During the rodeo, two-person crews were judged on their ability to perform work tasks safely and quickly. For spectators, it was an opportunity to watch lineworkers perform tasks that they perform on a daily basis, and understand more about how power comes on at the flip of a switch. Rodeo participants also demonstrated tasks only conducted in emergency, rescue situations.
Northeast Community College was a host utility for the event as well as a “Silver Sponsor.” Matthew Johnson, Tom McKeon, Roger Nelson, Larry Oetken, and Kyle Voecks, utility line instructors, and Kory Hildebrand, wind energy instructor, were members of the Rodeo Committee and served as judges. The team was also in charge of the tear down of all equipment used in the rodeo. The Northeast crew utilized 20 students/employees and vehicles during the event.
All of the hosting utilities are members of the Nebraska Power Association; the statewide organization of 169 locally owned electric utilities providing electric service across Nebraska. For more information on the Lineworkers Rodeo, go online to www.nelinerodeo.com.
Northeast Community College offers one of only three, two-year utility line degree programs in the United States. The program is nationally recognized for its comprehensive utility line and job training safety program. Successful completion of the program prepares students for highly-marketable careers installing, replacing, and repairing electrical power poles, lines, and equipment.