Delaware Electric Cooperative crews took home top honors at the Gaff-N-Go Lineman’s Rodeo held May 10-11 near Richmond, VA. One DEC team comprised of Philip Collison, Michael Layton and Dave Morgan was named the overall competition winner among Mid-Atlantic electric cooperatives.
The team competed against dozens of other teams in competitions testing their ability to quickly climb utility poles and replace electrical equipment 40 feet in the air. Co-op linemen Jake Hudson, Dave Mabrey, Jon Pentoney and Dylan Shockley also participated in the competition.
According to Collison, “I’m proud of how well our linemen performed at Gaff-N-Go. This is the best the Co-op has performed in the competition. Delaware Electric Co-op linemen worked hard to prepare for the events and their dedication paid off.”
Named for the spikes linemen attach to their boots when climbing electric utility poles, the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo is organized by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC). The only competition of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo offers professional linemen the opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills as they perform a variety of designated electric line-work tasks. Their performances are timed and scored, with safe work practices the most important factor in judging.
“A lot of people don’t know the incredible amount of work and training it takes to become a DEC lineman. Our crews can’t always use a bucket truck to restore power. They have to be able to climb a 40-foot utility pole with their gear and that’s not something a lot of people can do. I couldn’t be prouder of our linemen who are dedicated to keeping the lights on for our members,” said DEC’s President and CEO Bill Andrew.
DEC’s team will now compete in the International Lineman’s Rodeo, the Super Bowl of lineman events, which will be held in October in Kansas City, Mo.