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Burbank Water and Power Grabs Top Spot at the Annual Los Angeles Lineman’s Rodeo

BURBANK, Calif. (May 1, 2012) --

BURBANK, Calif. (May 1, 2012) – Rodeo’s have a long history in Southern California harking back to the days when on the ranch horse power literally meant horse power. Today, the horsepower that drives our industries, brings light to our homes, and air conditions our malls is electricity. The modern day cowboy who tames this horsepower is the electric lineman.

The electric lineman is the image we see tethered to a pole high above the ground in windy and rainy conditions, harnessing the power of electricity and corralling it into a wire.

Each year linemen from throughout California strap on their jeans, leather gloves, hard hats, and steel spikes to test their skills in a competition of speed, accuracy, safety, and intelligence in the Los Angeles Lineman’s Rodeo. It used to be ranch versus ranch, now it is power utility versus power utility.

Burbank Water and Power (BWP) employees can claim bragging rights after taking home several trophies, including several first place finishes in the Apprentice competition, at the Annual Los Angeles Lineman’s Rodeo. The event was held on Saturday, April 28 at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's (LADWP) Truesdale Training Center in Sun Valley.

Hosted by LADWP and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 18, the annual event showcases the extraordinary skills and physical abilities that power utility workers, such as those who work for BWP, use every day to keep power on for residents and businesses in Southern California

Rodeos provide a place for skilled technicians to share techniques that save lineman’s lives while providing a quality electric service our modern day living depends on. BWP has participated in the Lineman’s Rodeo since the early ‘90s, and has consistently improved each year. With significantly less practice than their competitors, participating BWP employees use the very skills and intelligence they utilize in their everyday work to excel in this year’s rodeo.

The Apprentice competition consisted of five events: Apprentice Written Test, Sidewalk Guy, Transformer Jumper, Hurt Man Rescue, and Pole Climb. It not only tested the participants’ skills, but also their intelligence. BWP’s sole apprentice team, consisting of Ryan Reid and Cody Cessna, came back from the event with several awards including First Place in the Sidewalk Guy and Transformer Jumper events, Second Place in the Pole Climb event, Third Place in the Hurt Man Rescue event, and they topped it off when they were awarded First Place in the Overall category.

In the Journeyman competition, teams of three Journeymen participated in five challenging events including Dead-end Change, Crossarm Change, Switch Change, Emergency Response Hurtman Rescue, and Pole Climb. BWP had two Journeyman teams in the competition. Both teams performed at a consistent high level throughout the individual events resulting in a Second Place Overall finish by the team of Howard Hull, Tim Pedersen, and Adam Lewis while their counterparts Kris Bomdahl, Edison Rosas, and Jason Edwards placed Fourth Overall. Both teams received perfect scores for the entire competition resulting in tiebreaker ranking via their overall accumulated times.

LADWP employee Ted L. Dario founded the Lineman’s Rodeo in 1991 to provide a forum where linemen could receive recognition for their technical craft skills. It also presents the opportunity for linemen to focus on the importance of safety and safe work practices.

Each year, the winning teams of local rodeos are given the opportunity to participate in the International Lineman’s Rodeo competition held in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Joe Flores, Public Information Officer