Pascoag Utility District (PUD) is pleased to have sponsored the Northeast Public Power Association (NEPPA) Apprentice Lineworker Skills Assessment Rodeo at the PUD pole yard training area in Pascoag on June 15th and 16th. In fact, we are very happy to report that this is the 7th annual Lineworker rodeo NEPPA has held at our training facility for the benefit of public power workers throughout New England and New York.
You will see the various lineworker skills that are judged during this two day event in the series of photos attached.
The NEPPA Lineworker Program is an extremely well run training school where lineworkers from public power companies throughout our region progress through an intensive 4 year program as they become experts in their field. They develop both the technical “book” understanding as well as physical skills required to safely and effectively maintain and operate our electrical distribution systems. Keeping your lights on and electricity flowing is public power’s key mission, and this school is an extremely important cog in that “machine”.
The Rodeo is held each year at PUD’s pole yard training area, where we have various full-size mark-ups of utility pole and electrical distribution equipment configurations. Over 80 lineworkers from public power companies throughout the northeast competed in this year’s event. The participants are broken up into teams, and each team is timed and judged for various skills that pertain so importantly to the work that they do. As an example, one of the key skills assessed is a test of each participant’s ability to rescue a fellow injured lineworker from the top of a utility pole. Time can be of the essence in a situation like this, and each lineworker is judged on his/her ability to speedily and safely climb to the top of a pole, harness an injured worker, and lower that worker safely to the ground for treatment. Other skill assessments include changing out a pole transformer, changing power line insulators, and an enjoyable competition which determines which lineworker in the school can safely climb up and down a utility pole in the fastest time. I can almost smell the adrenaline as I write this…LOL!
We are proud to provide our facilities to NEPPA for their use in training our northeast lineworkers, both in the classroom and in the hands-on areas such as this training yard. We greatly value this relationship with NEPPA, and our PUD crew has in turn learned invaluable skills as they have moved through this 4 year program to become expert lineworkers. In fact, two of our PUD lineworkers competed in this year’s event: Doug Menard and Matt Dupuis. Great job guys! I am also proud of the rest of our staff, who donated time and services to set this event up. This is teamwork at its best, both among our staff, and in conjunction with NEPPA and utility workers throughout the region.