Bobby Hamilton, who works in SMECOs Charles-Prince Georges region, competed in the hurt man rescue event at the Gaff n Go Linemans Rodeo. (Photo: SMECO)
HUGHESVILLE, Md. (May 14, 2011) Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) had 12 linemen competing in equipment operations, apprentice, and journeyman events at the 2011 Gaff 'N' Go Lineman's Rodeo held at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia.
Nearly 100 linemen from 13 electric utilities located in Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and South Carolina participated in events that tested their agility, skill, and safe work practices. All of the competitive events are timed to determine the winners. Events included single-person competitions and three-member team competitions.
Teams were given 15 minutes to complete the recloser change out competition. This event required two men to climb a utility pole, open switches, remove and replace reclosers, re-energize the line, and return safely to the ground. The third team member, who remained near the base of the utility pole, was responsible for hoisting equipment up to the linemen on the pole using a rope and pulley. Other events included the extendo stick operation, climbing skills, digger derrick obstacle, and bucket truck obstacle.
In keeping with the electric cooperatives' emphasis on safety, linemen competed in the hurt man rescue, CPR with AED (automated external defibrillator), and the bucket truck rescue events. These particular challenges dramatize a situation in which a fellow lineman is injured atop a utility pole. Linemen must strap on a safety harness and spiked boots to climb a pole, then use a rope and pulley to lower the "injured" worker to the ground. The winner completed the task in less than 2 minutes and 22 seconds.
Daniel Hutchins (left) and Doug Hancock, who work in SMECOs Charles-Prince Georges region, competed in the recloser change out event at the Gaff n Go Linemans Rodeo. (Photo: SMECO)
SMECO linemen Brent Hancock, Doug Hancock, and Daniel Hutchins took second place in the extendo stick event. Competition for the day's events was so tight, that in the climbing skills demonstration, 27 competitors achieved a perfect score of 100 points with a time difference of less than 58 seconds between the winner and the twelfth place finish.
SMECO employees served as judges for the Rodeo events and included Joe Day, Blaise Higgs, David Lindsey, and Gary Peck. SMECO employees who helped to set up utility poles and other equipment before the rodeo included Jay Herbert, Scott Horn, Steve Maddox, Harold Spence, and Tony Suttle. SMECO linemen who competed in events included Tyler Compton, Scott Gagliardi, Bobby Hamilton, Brent Hancock, Doug Hancock, Daniel Hutchins, Gary Peck, Brian Rawlings, Josh Reithmeyer, and Will Robertson, Eric Rutherford, and Brian Thomas.