17:34 PM

Jackson EMC Linemen Win Top Award at International Lineman’s Rodeo

A Jackson EMC journeyman lineman team was named the top electric cooperative team at the 39th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo in Bonner Springs, Kansas on Saturday, October 14. The competition included more than 1,300 lineworkers, who were judged on speed, agility, technique and safe working procedures.

“The International Lineman’s Rodeo brings together the best-of-the-best linemen from around the U.S. and other countries, and it takes a lot of skills and determination to compete at this level,” said Patrick McAuliff, Jackson EMC’s district director of engineering and operations in Jefferson.

Jackson EMC sent four journeyman lineman teams and six apprentices to the international competition. A total of 292 journeyman lineman teams and 440 apprentices from electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, contractors and electric providers for the military competed at the event. Apprentices compete as individuals, while journeymen compete in teams of three.

Apprentices and journeyman teams compete in the hurt man rescue and pole climb events as well as two mystery events revealed the day before the competition. Apprentices also complete a written test as a part of their overall scores. Competitors are scored on skill and speed for completing tasks for each event.  

Team honors include:

  • A journeyman lineman team with Jeremy Adams, Kaleb Chapman and Jeff Sutton, of Jefferson and Oakwood, won first place overall in the electric cooperative division and placed third as the top overall team at the International Lineman’s Rodeo. In addition, they placed third in the crossarm changeout event and 10th in the jumper changeout event.
  • Justin Roper, Matt Tolar and Austin Yearwood, all of Oakwood, won second place overall in the electric cooperative division for journeyman lineman teams and ninth overall.
  • Justin Cash, Austin Gragg and Devin Triplett, all of Jefferson, placed third in the hurt man rescue event among journeyman lineman teams and 10th overall in the electric cooperative division.
  • A team with Brett Hurst, Kevin Grant and Scotty Tompkins, all of Oakwood, placed third in the senior division of journeyman lineman teams.

Individual honors include:

  • Apprentice lineman Walt Palmer, of Gwinnett, finished first in the hurt man rescue.
  • Shawn Thurston, of Gwinnett, finished in second place in the hurt man rescue and second place in pole climb.
  • Austin Lewis, of Neese, finished in second place in the guy preform changeout event, fifth in the arrestor changeout event and eighth in the hurt man rescue among all apprentices.

“We’re proud to support our linemen who compete at this level,” said Tommy Parker, Jackson EMC’s vice president of operations. “Safety is our top priority and the skills our linemen use at the International Lineman’s Rodeo emphasize safety first. This event allows our linemen to show their skills, grit and teamwork among their peers and their family members who make the trip to Kansas to cheer them on.”

Jackson EMC’s participants at the International Lineman’s Rodeo earned their spots based on their performance at the Georgia Lineman’s Rodeo, held in May. This year’s International Lineman’s Rodeo was the biggest event in the competition’s history, according to organizers.

Jackson Electric Membership Corporation, the largest electric cooperative in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation, is headquartered 50 miles northeast of Atlanta in Jefferson, Ga. The cooperative serves more than 259,000 meters on 14,000 miles of energized wire. For more information, visit jacksonemc.com. 


Official results from the International Lineman’s Rodeo are available at: https://www.linemansrodeokc.com/results-final/

Photos of Jackson EMC’s linemen at the International Lineman’s Rodeo are available at: https://jacksonemc.canto.com/b/VFNLO