Wilson competes in international Lineman’s Rodeo

Chris Wilson and his team participated in the Lineman’s Rodeo in Kansas last month. (Submitted photo)
Chris Wilson and his team participated in the Lineman’s Rodeo in Kansas last month. (Submitted photo)

By Anna Skinner

Chris Wilson, Westfield resident and Carmel employee, participated in the Lineman’s Rodeo with his Duke Energy team last month.

The Lineman’s Rodeo is an event to help inform others on what exactly a lineman does with his or her job.

“As linemen, we handle everything from the substation to the house for power delivery,” Wilson said. “We are the guys that are climbing poles and rebuilding lines. Our job is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.”

One of the events the competitors do in the Lineman’s Rodeo is the hurt-man rescue. A 185-pound dummy is placed on top of the transformer station and the lineman climbs the pole, taking rope rigs to harness around the dummy. Then, the lineman cuts the dummy free and lowers the dummy to ground.

Other events include equipment repair and pole climbs. The linemen are judged on speed, agility, technique and safety procedures.

“It takes a lifetime to understand this craft and be safe. The rodeo helps promote our job, it gives a small snapshot of a few of the things we do to show our families,” Wilson said.

Out of 230 teams, Wilson and his group placed 38th internationally.

“In order to be a great lineman, it takes years. It’s truly a profession that’s a lifetime of learning,” Wilson said. “The amount of troubleshooting knowledge it takes to do our job is something acquired over a lifetime. The rodeo is a very good representation of a few skills of what we do on a daily basis, but it is not what it means to be a good lineman.”

To learn more about Duke Energy’s Midwest competitors, visit www.duke-energy.com/about-us/stories-2015-lineman-rodeo.asp).