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Connecticut News


Lineworkers Gear Up for Eversource Rodeo Competition

May 5, 2022


At Eversource’s Tolland Area Work Center training yard, lineworkers lace up their boots and climb a utility pole as fast as they can while their team members watch and keep time from the ground. They are racing to reach a training dummy simulating a person in distress at the top of the pole near powerlines in an exercise called “Hurt Man Rescue.” It is one of three events in Eversource’s annual Lineworkers Rodeo in Berlin on May 7 this year — and every second counts. This Connecticut-based team has been practicing for the competition for months.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Eversource lineworker Derek Drace. “You get to see co-workers that you don’t normally work with and train with them. You learn a lot of new tricks and get better at your trade.”

Drace – from Norwalk – has been gearing up for the competition, brushing up on his pole climbing skills for the last several weeks. Although he has been with the company for four years, this will only be his second time competing in the rodeo because the event was canceled due to COVID the past two years. 

“There is a comradery that comes with participating in the rodeo,” he said. “It’s also an opportunity to connect with lineworkers from other states and a chance to show customers what we do to restore power safely.”

Rodeo Practice AS Canon 48

On rodeo day, more than 120 competitors will represent Eversource teams from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In addition to overhead lineworkers, underground lineworkers will compete in events like manhole rescue, and electric meter operators will square off in skills including cable pulling. The winners will go on to represent the company in the 38th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo in Kansas in October.

The Eversource Rodeo is an action-packed, family-friendly event that is free and open to the public. Spectators can enjoy the exciting pole climbing event and catch a glimpse of innovative tools and machines like bucket trucks. There will also be several games for children including giant Jenga, mini golf, Connect Four, cornhole and bingo. Opening ceremonies begin at the Eversource training yard at 107 Selden Street in Berlin at 8 a.m. on Saturday with the competition kicking off at 9 a.m.