Utility line workers compete at Lineman Rodeo

Next generation line worker? Snohomish PUD lineman Miguel Menia (with his daughter, left) was one of 128 contestants at this year’s Pacific Northwest Lineman Rodeo in Gresham.

The annual Pacific Northwest Lineman Rodeo, which was held July 23, is sponsored by IBEW Locals 125, 659, and 77 together with PGE, Pacificorp, and Clark County PUD. It tests utility line workers for speed, safety and trade skills, and raises money for the Oregon Burn Center.

This year’s fundraising results weren’t final at press time, but last year’s raised $50,000. All told, 21 three-member teams of journeymen, 58 apprentices, and even seven pre-apprentices competed. Challenges included a relay event, a pole climb with a raw egg, a written test, and a “hurt man rescue” in which a mannikin simulating an injured and unconscious coworker is brought safely to ground.

First place finishers this year included the journeyman team of Bryce Denney, Josh May, Guy Elliot, apprentice Jarek Osburn, and preapprentice Boyd Eickmann.

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