There are plenty of public sector linemen and apprentices who can outperform those who belong to IBEW 1245.
But it was hard to find any of them at the 14th Annual Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo in Edmond, OK, where teams from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Modesto Irrigation District captured all but one of the first place trophies.
SMUD’s journeyman team of Todd Prangley, Matthew Wilson and Cayleb Bowman were first overall in journeyman events, and SMUD’s Garrett Mcghehey took top overall honors in apprentice events.
In the individual journeyman events, Prangley, Wilson and Bowman took first place in 4-kv Cross Arm Change Out, second place in the 4-kv Four Bell Change out, and third place in the 12-kv Post-Insulator Change Out.
The MID journeyman team of Matt McCurdy, Jimmy Boere, Sean Coulson and Victor Madrigal captured first place in the 12-kv Post-Insulator Change Out, first place in the 4-kv Four Bell Change Out, third place in the 600 Amp Switch Replacement and third place in the Hurt Man Rescue–powering them to a fourth place overall finish.
Let us all take off our hats to the team from JEA from Jacksonville, FL for being the only other journeyman team to capture a first place trophy–in the Hurt Man Rescue event.
Other SMUD teams also turned in outstanding performances, and completely dominated the 600 Amp Switch Replacement event, with the team of Rory Malia, Justin Hirschi, and Gregory Baird taking first, and the team of Lucas Raley, Ben Bassett and John Moe taking second. Raley, Bassett and Moe finished fifth in the overall competition.
IBEW 1245 members took first place in every single apprentice event. Louis Jimenez took first in the Alley Arm Insulator Change Out, Hurtman Rescue, and Transformer Arrester Change Out, while Richard Hall took first in the Obstacle Course, third in the written test, and fifth overall. Garrett Mcghehey took first in the Written Test (as well as second place in the Obstacle Course and top honors overall).
SMUD apprentice Connor Hutchison took second in the Transformer Arrester Change Out.
While victory is sweet, rodeo competition is about more than out-competing your peers. The APPA Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo brings lineworkers together not only to prove their skill and knowledge but also to attend training courses and practice safety. Any deviation from safe work practices brings stiff penalties in the scoring, no matter how swiftly the task is performed. Speed is used in the scoring only if needed to break a tie.
Next year, the California teams will have home field advantage. The 2015 APPA Lineworkers Rodeo will be held in May in Sacramento.