It’s about camaraderie, skill — and okay, honestly? Trophies.
Last month, a team of journeymen linemen and a handful of apprentices traveled to Kissimee, Florida to take part in the 13th annual American Public Power Association’s Lineworkers’ Rodeo, which pits teams from public power companies from across the country against each other in events such as “cross-arm change-out” and “URD elbow change-out.”
The CPS Energy team didn’t bring home any trophies at this event, but manager Eric Fassett said they’ve already begun training for a July rodeo held in Seguin.
Unlike some utilities, which have teams dedicated only to competing, CPS Energy linemen train during their off-hours, Fassett said.
“They do it because they love it,” he said. Because the Texas event is nearby, “we can send the most teams for the least amount of money.”
Families and kids come to cheer on the linemen at the Texas event, he said, which includes a barbecue cook-off — of course!
“We’re really into it, because we really believe in it,” Fassett said.