The Oklahoma men and women who maintain the power lines for our state’s publicly-owned electric utilities came together in Ponca City in late September (25th and 26th) for two days of competition and comradery. Most importantly though, they came together for the sake of safety education.
The event was the 2019 Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) Lineworker’s Rodeo & Training, an annual event that not only allows these lineworkers to put their skills to the test in a friendly competition setting, but also allows them opportunity to practice teamwork across utilities. That helps promote education and also helps prepare them for those critical times when mutual aid projects are necessary, following natural disasters, etc.
During the competition, they climb poles, splice damaged lines, change fuses, conduct simulated “hurt man” rescue operations and work together in other ways. That “working together” is the key.
Of course, all of the public power utilities represented at the “rodeo” are owned by the customers they serve, allowing for local control, not-for-profit rates and local resources that match local needs. However, when Oklahoma weather gets ugly – tornados, ice storms, flooding – those small local systems can be hit hard and, often, that means the job of rebuilding, replacement and repairs is accomplished with the help of other public power crews across the state.
GRDA’s team participated in the competition and made a good showing. Congratulations to GRDA’s Clayton Stone who placed second in the “Apprentice Speed Climb” and to Linemen David Hefner and Brent Scott for placing first and second in the “Veteran Hurtman Rescue.”
GRDA is not only proud of its team, but also proud to be a part of the greater Oklahoma public power team and the work it is doing everyday to keep the lights on across the state.
Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.