This past weekend marked a time of honor and celebration for Florida public power communities and for lineworkers from across the Sunshine State at the 20th annual Florida Lineman Competition. Following the Competition, the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) named the lineworkers who won the competition, as well as recognized member utilities for their support of fellow public power communities and their commitment to worker safety.
Florida Lineman Competition
During the Florida Lineman Competition, lineworkers put their skills to the test performing tasks they encounter in real-world scenarios. Competitors were tasked with replacing streetlight heads and three-phase fuses to a simulation of rescuing an injured lineworker. Competitors earned points for completing the tasks as quickly as possible and lost points if safety standards and proper work practices were not followed. Journeyman teams, which include at least one lineworker who has been in the industry for five years or more, are made up of three lineworkers. Apprentices, or lineworkers in training, compete individually.
This year, the Overall Journeyman Team Winners Cup went to Josh Helton, Justin Johnson and Coy Judd of the City of Tallahassee. Taking home the Overall Apprentice Award was Gaige Griffis from Clay Electric Cooperative. This year, 20 journeyman teams (totaling 63 journeyman competitors) and 65 apprentices from 11 utilities participated.
Restoring Communities Awards
The Restoring Communities Awards are presented to public power utilities that have either provided or received mutual aid following significant weather events in the state, as well as utilities that have provided mutual aid assistance for day-to-day operations to fellow FMEA members in need.
This year’s Restoring Communities Awards were sponsored by Burns and McDonnell.
“As an employee-owned company, we understand what it is like to be deeply invested in the places we work and live. Public power shares this level of commitment not only to their hometowns, but also to their fellow public power communities. We are proud to sponsor the FMEA Restoring Communities Award and recognize the work public power communities do to provide assistance in times of need,” said Rich Mahaley, Burns & McDonnell Vice President of Florida Operations.
Receiving Restoring Communities Awards were the following:
- Beaches Energy Services
- City of Bushnell
- City of Green Cove Springs
- City of Leesburg
- City of Mount Dora
- City of Tallahassee
- City of Quincy
- Fort Pierce Utilities Authority
- Gainesville Regional Utilities
- Kissimmee Utility Authority
- Lakeland Electric
- Ocala Electric Utility
- Orlando Utilities Commission
- Utilities Commission of New Smyrna Beach
FMEA recognizes and rewards safe operations through its annual Safety Awards. Utilities are placed into categories based on their total man-hours worked and rewarded for the most incident-free records. The incidence rate used to judge utilities was based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses compared to the total number of worker-hours during 2019, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The following utilities received a Safety Award in their category:
Category A (0-59,999 man-hours):
City of Alachua – perfect record
City of Blountstown – perfect record
City of Mount Dora – perfect record
City of Newberry – perfect record
City of Wauchula – perfect record
City of Williston – perfect record
Town of Havana – perfect record
Winter Park Electric Utility – perfect record
City of Chattahoochee – 2nd place
City of Bushnell – 3rd place
Category B (60,000-199,999 man-hours):
Fort Pierce Utilities Authority – 1st place
Utilities Commission of New Smyrna Beach – 2nd place
Homestead Public Services – 3rd place
Category C (200,000-399,999 man-hours):
Keys Energy Services – 1st place
Ocala Electric Utility – 2nd place
City of Lake Worth Beach – 3rd place
Category D (400,000-949,999 man-hours):
City of Tallahassee – 1st place
Gainesville Regional Utilities – 2nd place
Kissimmee Utility Authority – 3rd place
Category E (950,000-2,499,999 man-hours):
Orlando Utilities Commission– 1st place
Lakeland Electric – 2nd place
Florida’s public power utilities are locally owned, locally controlled and locally operated, enabling them to quickly respond to the needs of their communities. They are also among some of the most affordable and reliable power providers in the state.
Full results from the 20th annual Florida Lineman Competition are available at publicpower.com/events/2020-florida-lineman-competition. For more information on FMEA and Florida’s public power communities, please visit publicpower.com.
The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) represents the unified interests of 33 public power communities across the state, which provide electricity to more than 3 million of Florida’s residential and business consumers.