WGL to host Georgia Lineman's Rodeo - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lineman Rodeo starts Saturday

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Instead of Ropes, cowboys, and cattle, there will be ropes, linesmen and light poles at the 19th annual Georgia Lineman's Rodeo this weekend.

Chehaw Park will be full of linesman and apprentices Saturday from the southeast to promote line work as a career and hone their skills.

"It's all about safety and training and having the best lineman that we can have," says Jimmy Norman, Light Director for WGL Albany.

The Rodeo starts with a written exam at 7:30 am and then a ceremony before four climbing events at 8:30 am.

One climb is the "Always a hurt man Rescue" where the linemen climb a pole to save a dummy that weighs 165 pounds just like a person that could be injured.

"Essentially just like their job everyday, they drive up to the job site in the middle of the night and they don't know what they have. All they know is that the power is out. So, they've got to figure out the best and safest way to perform that task and the quickest way to get is done," says Norman.

Several cities and EMC's use this event to qualify their employees for an international rodeo in Kansas City in October, but it's also a way for everyone to see the honorable and dangerous jobs they do.

"Your wife and children don't have the opportunity to see what you do. and not only do they get to see what you do on a daily basis, you're actually in a competition and they're hollerin' and screamin' and supporting' and rooting' 'em on, and it does get really exciting."

Organizers say there's something at the event for everyone.

Photographs can be taken for kids with hard hats and gloves on and they can be in activities just like the linemen competing.

"You'll now start to hear children say, I want to be a lineman when I grow up. The beauty in that is, you never hear of a city going out of business, really. You never hear of a major utility going out of business," says Lorie Farkas, Assistant General Manager for WG&L.

Organizers encourage everyone to come out this year before it moves to Perry permanently next year, because it might be the last event here like it here in Albany.

Winners will get champion rings and a traveling trophy will be passed from last year's winner to this year's number one team.

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