Saturday, October 31, 2009

EMC Linemen in Georgia Climb to the Top in International Competition

/PRNewswire/ -- Electric cooperatives in Georgia ranked among the top 10 in the nation during the 26th Annual International Lineman's Rodeo held October 17 in Bonner Springs, Kansas.

EMC journeymen (the highest qualified individuals) and apprentices (those in the first four years of linemen training) placed in the top 10 among 153 teams and 215 apprentices.

"This competition draws the most talented and dedicated line workers from across the nation and showcases these workers and the skills that are required of them to get the lights back on for millions of Georgians and others," said Jim Wright, Georgia EMC vice president of training, education and safety.

Journeymen and apprentices from across the country, representing electric cooperatives, investor-owned utilities and municipalities, participated in the competition which tests skills in pole-climbing, hurt-man rescue, transformer repair and high-voltage line-insulator changes.

According to Wright, the primary purpose of the event is to promote safety and safe work practices and to provide a forum for the public to better understand and appreciate the exceptional performance of linemen.

In this year's rodeo, Snapping Shoals EMC in Covington placed second among 153 teams in the Overall Journeyman Division. In addition, journeymen teams from Snapping Shoals EMC in Covington, Carroll EMC in Carrollton and GreyStone Power in Douglasville won first, third and sixth places, respectively, in the EMC Journeyman Division.

In 2009, EMC apprentices were formidable contenders as well. An apprentice with Walton EMC ranked fourth nationwide among 215 competitors in the Overall Apprentice Division. And, apprentices with Walton EMC in Monroe won first and third places, while a lineman with GreyStone Power of Douglasville won sixth place in the EMC Apprentice Division.

"Few people understand what is required of a lineman," said Wright. " EMC linemen and apprentices in Georgia are among the best in their field and across the nation. The rodeo and the success of these line workers reinforces what we've known for some time--that EMC linemen in Georgia are experts and will go above and beyond to keep the lights on, and they'll perform the work with safety for themselves and the public foremost on their minds."

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state's 42 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia's customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to four million people, nearly half of Georgia's population, across 73 percent of the state's land area.

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