CPS Energy linemen compete to test and hone their skills

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.”

Check out a video slideshow of CPS Energy’s linemen journeyman team and apprentices on our Flickr page. 

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.

Journeyman switch change-out – the linemen team finishing up on their final rodeo event.
Journeyman switch change-out – the linemen team finishing up on their final rodeo event.

“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.

CPS Energy journeyman team tackles the "URD elbow change-out" in Kissimmee last month.
CPS Energy journeyman team tackles the “URD elbow change-out” in Kissimmee last month.

Tracy Idell Hamilton

Tracy Idell Hamilton manages CPS Energy's blog, among other duties. A former energy reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, Hamilton joined CPS Energy in September 2012.

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