State electric utilities preparing for Lineman Rodeo
Ponca City Now - September 24, 2015 3:32 pm
Electric linemen from Ponca City Energy and from Edmond and Claremore worked Thursday on setting more than 50 utility poles and electric lines in Dan Moran Park.
The lines are not connected to power, but the work was done for two reasons. First, it was a training exerciese for apprentices and journeymen, and second, it was preparation for the Linemen’s Rodeo, which Ponca City Energy will host Oct.14 and 15.
About 10 crews from various cities in Oklahoma will send teams to compete in a variety of events to show their skills.
Tom Dougherty, director of Training and Safety for the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma, Inc., said safety is always the first priority in any work or training session involving power lines and poles.
"Everything we do, we treat it as simulated energized lines to sharpen our safety skills," Dougherty said.
Each city’s team will have access to four of the poles at Dan Moran Park during the competition, and four poles will be used for mutual aid assignments. Oklahoma’s rodeo is the only competition that includes an event to provide lineworkers the opportunity to build relationships which could be beneficial during real-life mutual aid situations.
The event will include a 9-hole scramble at 9 a.m. Oct. 14 at Lew Wentz Golf Course, followed by training events at the Carolyn Renfro Events Center, along with a vendors’ expo and dinner.
On Oct. 15, the competition begins with registration at 7 a.m. at Dan Moran Park and rodeo events starting at 8 a.m. A banquet will be held at 1 p.m. at the Carolyn Renfro Events Center.
More information on the event is available at http://www.meso.org/sites/default/files/2015%20Rodeo%20and%20Safety%20Training%20Registration.pdf
MESO includes 63 cities in Oklahoma and 12 cities in Arkansas and Missouri, Dougherty said.
He said the program demonstrates its success in its numbers. He said the last municipality’s major contact with a live line was in 1986.