Area Duke power line workers earn spots in international competition

Local Duke Energy line workers were among 15 from the utility to qualify for an international competition testing skills critical to electricity delivery and restoration.

John Menefee of Columbus, and Josh Menefee and Andrew Reinhart of Seymour placed third among journeyman teams last weekend in Duke Energy’s Midwest Lineman’s Rodeo in Plainfield. Doing so punched their ticket to the International Lineman Rodeo on Oct. 19 in Bonner Springs, Kansas.

Lineman’s rodeos are specialized contests that test job-related skills that line technicians rely on daily to restore power day and night, often in unpredictable outdoor conditions. Events take place on de-energized equipment in a simulated environment, but participants are scored based on simulations of on-the-job work, with deductions for mistakes.

Competitors are judged on efficiency, agility, technique and safety procedures in categories that include equipment repair, pole climbs and hurt man rescues.

Duke Energy serves nearly 900,000 customers in Indiana and employs about 380 lineworkers across its Indiana service area.