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CEC linemen compete

Jonathan Powell leans out to make changes to a cross arm at the 14th annual Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo June 3 and 4 in Doswell. (Submitted Photo)

Jonathan Powell leans out to make changes to a cross arm at the 14th annual Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo June 3 and 4 in Doswell. (Submitted Photo)

Testing their skills against more than 150 linemen from six states, three apprentice linemen from Community Electric Cooperative took part in the 14th Annual Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo, held June 3 and 4 at Meadow Event Park in Doswell.

Jonathan Powell, Eric Galford and Evan Wagonsomer competed in both the Equipment Operator’s Rodeo on Friday and the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo on Saturday, testing their skills against 44 apprentices from other utilities in this safety-focused annual competition.

CEC employees Ricky Brame and Steve Saunders also served as volunteer judges for this year’s event.

Named for the spike 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.

Eric Galford works to rescue a “hurt man” dummy from a pole at the 14th annual Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo June 3 and 4 in Doswell. (Submitted Photo)

Eric Galford works to rescue a “hurt man” dummy from a pole at the 14th annual Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo June 3 and 4 in Doswell. (Submitted Photo)

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.

“The Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo promotes safety and teamwork,” CEC’s president and chief executive officer Steven A. Harmon said. “The job our linemen do to ‘keep the lights on’ for our members is a dangerous one. We’re thrilled that our apprentices did well in this year’s competition.”

Community Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Windsor, is a not-for-profit, member-owned energy provider serving nearly 11,000 homes, farms and businesses in the counties of Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry, and Sussex and Suffolk.