FMEA Awards Banquet Showcases Florida Lineman Competition and Safety Awards Winners
The Florida Municipal Electric Association (FMEA) recognized excellence in Florida Public Power at an awards banquet this weekend by announcing the winners of the Florida Lineman Competition and recipients of the FMEA Safety Awards. The banquet concluded the 2022 Florida Lineman Competition in Fort Pierce.
Florida Lineman Competition
The annual Florida Lineman Competition brings electric lineworkers from all over the state together todemonstrate their skill and knowledge in the craft of line work. Competitors took on various challenges such as replacing crossarms and insulators on utility poles, changing out transformers and completing a simulation of rescuing injured lineworkers. Competitors earned points for completing the tasks as quickly as possible and lost points if safety standards and proper work practices were not followed. Journeyman teams, which included at least one lineworker who has been in the industry for five years or more, are made up of three lineworkers. Apprentices, or lineworkers in training, competed individually.
The 2022 Overall Journeyman Team Winners Cup was presented to Mike Harper, Lance Rivenbark, and Jonathan Hermann of Talquin Electric Cooperative. Winning the Overall Apprentice Award was Matt Coakley from OUC. This year, 20 journeyman linemen teams (totaling 65 journeyman competitors), 72 apprentices, and 43 judges from 11 utilities participated.
FMEA recognizes and rewards safe operations through its annual Safety Awards. Utilities are placed into categories based on their total worker hours and rewarded for the most incident-free records. The incidence rate used to judge utilities was based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses compared to the total number of worker hours during 2021, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
A total of 17 utilities received a Safety Award in their category, including:
Category A (0-59,999 man-hours):
City of Alachua – Perfect Record
City of Blountstown – Perfect Record
City of Chattahoochee – Perfect Record
City of Green Cove Springs – Perfect Record
City of Mount Dora – Perfect Record
City of Newberry – Perfect Record
Town of Havana – Perfect Record
Category B (60,000-199,999 man-hours):
Fort Pierce Utilities Authority – 1st place
Ocala Electric Utility – 2nd place
Beaches Energy Services – 3rd place
Category C (200,000-399,999 man-hours):
Keys Energy Services – Perfect Record
Utilities Commission, New Smyrna Beach – 2nd place
Category D (400,000-949,999 man-hours):
Lakeland Electric – 1st place
City of Tallahassee – 2nd place
Gainesville Regional Utilities – 3rd place
Category E (950,000-2,499,999 man-hours):
Orlando Utilities Commission – Special Recognition
Category F (2,500,000-greater man-hours):
JEA – Special Recognition
Florida’s Public Power utilities are locally owned, locally controlled and locally operated, enabling them to quickly respond to the needs of their communities. They are also among some of the most affordable and reliable power providers in the state.