MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. – With the Wednesday sun high above Maryland Heights, Ameren crews geared up and climbed up in an effort to brush up on their skills.
This weekend, Ameren crews from the St. Louis area will participate in the 39th annual International Lineman’s Rodeo in Overland Park, Kansas.
“This is a really great event for our skilled craft co-workers to get out and showcase their talents,” said Jon Shockley, Senior Manager of Electric Training for Ameren Missouri.
Shockley says this weekend’s event, billed as the “Lineman Olympics,” brings together the most talented line workers from utilities around the world. For Ameren crews, it’s a chance to put their protocols into practice with a purpose.
“A time for us to do team building, bonding, and working with our folks to be able to better serve our customers. To better deliver safe, reliable energy to our region,” said Shockley.
The events these linemen will compete in are no cinch.
“Hurt man, rescue. You’ll have a speedy climb, and then two mystery events, and those can be a plethora of different things we try to simulate in the field, but we’ll do in this rodeo for practice,” said Tim Borawski, Ameren Apprentice lineman.
“I like to show other people what I do. It’s kind of hard to explain to them what I do over a dinner conversation,” said Borawski.
But this weekend, he and around 50 of his colleagues from Ameren Missouri and Illinois will get the chance to display their skills in front of family, friends, and fellow line workers.
“It’s wicked cool, man. It’s something I look forward to. It’s something my fellow apprentices look forward to,” said Borawski.
It’s not the kind of “Rodeo” Garth Brooks sings about, but there are similarities. It’s hard-hats and harnesses. It’s boots and rope and rubber gloves on the Kansas plain. It’s young bucks and journeymen climbing and hurrying, and they call the thing Lineman’s Rodeo.
For a closer look at the rodeo and this weekend’s planned activities, click here.