PEC lineworkers collect international awards


Lineworkers from Pedernales Electric Cooperative won eight awards at the International Lineman’s Rodeo on Oct. 13 in Bonner Springs, Kan. Every single competitor from PEC earned an award during the competition.

The lineworkers represented PEC in a wide range of events based on the skills they have to master in their daily work, such as hurt-man rescue, pole climb, 600-amp switch change and more. Each event was judged on safety, technique and speed. Apprentices similarly competed in physical competitions and were also required to take a written skills test. 

At the event, PEC competed against 220 journeyman teams and 290 apprentices from across the U.S. and Canada.

“By participating in these events, PEC lineworkers are able to demonstrate their skills at the highest level and in a competitive environment,” the co-op said in a release. “They also demonstrate the importance of proper training and safety protocols, as well as provide the public a glimpse into the life of utility work.”

PEC Lineworker Apprentice Nick Morris repeated last year’s first-place win in the Apprentice Cooperative division and fifth-place win on the written test. In 2016 — his first year competing — Morris took home third place in the Apprentice Cooperative division. This was Morris’ last year competing as an apprentice as he completes his progression to journeyman.

Three other PEC apprentices were also named to the cooperative top five: Darren Donhauser, Caleb Brodock and Neil Dodson.

“Our lineworkers work hard every day to ensure PEC delivers safe and reliable power to approximately 1 million Texans,” said PEC Vice President of Operations Wayne McKee. “The primary purpose of the rodeo is to sharpen skills while concentrating on safe work practices. The team’s performance this year validates PEC’s commitment to these values. I am extremely proud of the rodeo team and grateful for the support of our board and employees.”

In addition, two PEC journeyworker teams from the Canyon Lake took both third and fourth place in the Cooperative Overall Journeyman division.