Four Little River Electric Cooperative linemen joined lineworkers from around the state in showcasing their skills for family, friends, and colleagues at the 2023 South Carolina Lineman’s Rodeo.
Sponsored by The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina, the event took place at Palmetto Electric’s Ridgeland campus in March and featured 126 lineworkers representing 14 electric cooperatives.
Little River Electric’s crew of Stephen Busbee, Bret Timmerman, and Gavin Mcgaha competed in the journeyman division. Noah Edmonds competed in the apprentice division, which are individual events for lineworkers with less than five years of experience at an electric utility.
Rodeo activities began with a special flag-raising ceremony that featured lineworkers from each participating co-op climbing a pole to mount the American, South Carolina, and Touchstone Energy Cooperatives flags. Lineworkers competed in other events such as Hurt Man Rescue, Double Crossarm Changeout, and Digger Derrick Obstacle Course.
“The rodeo is a safety event disguised as a competition,” says Josh Strickland, Little River’s director of loss control and risk management. “It allows these linemen to focus on the right way of doing their job and working as a team. It’s also an opportunity for their families to see what they do.”
Volunteers and family members from various co-ops were there to show their support. The cooperative-affiliated community outreach group WIRE (Women Involved In Rural Electrification) raised $1,250 for the Chavis House at Burn Centers of America in Augusta, which has treated many linemen over the years.