REC Linemen Excel at Gaff-n-Go Lineman Rodeo

May 23, 2017

Safety, precision and teamwork were on display over the weekend at the 15th Annual Terex Gaff-n-Go Lineman & Equipment Operator's Rodeo held at Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Va. Competing with other utilities from across the mid-Atlantic states, several REC linemen participated in apprentice, journeyman and team events with several of the Cooperative's participants scoring top 10 finishes. Leading the way was a first-place individual performance by William Jordan, an apprentice lineman from the Cooperative's Blue Ridge office, in the poletop rescue event.

A team of REC linemen, consisting of Daniel Dewey, Patrick Ambrose and Bradley Wheeler, from REC's Bowling Green office, earned the overall first-place trophy in the equipment events, which feature challenges using bucket trucks, digger derricks and other utility equipment. Kory Settle of REC's Culpeper office had the highest score among cooperative lineman apprentices in the CPR with Automated Electronic Defibrillator competition, demonstrating REC's training to be prepared for the unthinkable. Travis McCourt of REC's Culpeper office was the highest scoring cooperative lineman in the overall apprentice lineman category.

The Gaff-n-Go Lineman Rodeo is the only event of its type held in Virginia. The name Gaff-n-Go refers to the "gaff," a metal spike, which linemen attach to their boots to assist in climbing wooden utility poles.

Maxie Rozell, REC's manager of safety, security and risk management and co-chairperson of the event's planning committee said, "With the rodeo being held in Rappahannock Electric Cooperative's service territory, we play a very active role in helping to plan and carry out the event. Our linemen responded by performing very well in several of the competitions. As a whole, they continued to expand their knowledge of safety practices, their technical skills and their ability to work as a team. I'm so proud of all of our employees who participated and winning first place in the equipment events shows the dedication our linemen have to their trade."

REC provides electric service to over 164,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 16,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.