The Florida Lineman Competition, which was established by the Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA), will take place this coming Saturday, Mar. 4. Electric lineworkers from all over the state will come together to demonstrate their skill and knowledge in the craft of line work. Hosted by the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), the competition will take place in a field adjacent to the Marriott Orlando Airport Lakeside.
Competitors will take on various challenges such as replacing crossarms and insulators on utility poles, replacing blown arrestors, crossing poles and completing a simulation of rescuing injured lineworkers. Competitors earn points for completing the tasks as quickly as possible and lose points if safety standards and proper work practices are 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’s competition includes an additional mutual aid event in which two apprentices and one journeyman from three different utilities will compete together in an event that simulates work done in a mutual aid situation.
Participating in the 2023 Florida Lineman Competition are 22 journeyman teams, which total 70 journeyman lineworkers, and 77 apprentices from 12 utilities. Forty-nine (49) judges from across the state will score competitors.
The winners will be announced at an awards banquet on Saturday evening.
“Not only does this annual event give lineworkers a chance to provide the public with a glimpse into their daily work lives, but it is also an opportunity for professional development, recognition and camaraderie,” said Amy Zubaly, FMEA Executive Director. “The Florida Lineman Competition also enables us to celebrate our lineworkers and showcase their dedication to their craft, their communities and to each other.”
The event is free and open to the public. FMEA encourages members of the public to come out, bring their families, and enjoy the competition on Saturday, starting with the opening ceremony at 7:30 a.m. Activities for children, including a bounce house and children’s area, and food trucks will be on-site. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets. Coolers are permitted, and parking is free.