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Utah lineman crews put to the test in rodeo competition

Posted at 4:34 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-09 18:34:52-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Lineman crews are training for a special competition that tests their skills when it comes to climbing power poles and rescuing a hurt crew member.

When the power goes out, it's important crews can identify and fix the problem as quickly and safely as possible.

That's one of the goals of the lineman rodeo, which is happening this weekend in West Valley City.

"This is an opener for our company – for us to show our skills," explained Journeyman Lineman with Rocky Mountain Power Chance Nelson. " [We can] show how competitive we are and try to get that title."

Nearly 200 lineman from across the West will be showing off their skills while raising money for the University of Utah Burn Center.

Some of the events in the rodeo include "power pole speed climbing" and "hurt man rescue," which are exactly what they sound like.

"Something happens," Nelson said. "He is up there stranded… so we get a call to perform a rescue."

Thankfully, Nelson has never been a part of one of these rescues in real life. But he knows that if he gets the call, he'll be ready thanks to the training he's already been through.

The rodeo is open to the public and along with the competition will also include children's events, food trucks and more.