Linemen compete in regional event

Published 10:12 am Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Testing their skills against more than 150 linemen from six states, Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) line crew members took part in the 14th annual Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo, on Friday and Saturday at Meadow Event Park in Doswell.

Apprentice lineman Mitch DeJarnette, of Red Oak, placed second out of 47 apprentice competitors in the Hurt Man Rescue event with a time of 49 seconds, five seconds faster than his winning time last year. Steven Matney, of Cumberland, also had a chance to practice his skills in this safety-focused annual competition, placing fourth in the Hurt Man Rescue. In the Journeyman competition, CVEC’s team of D.J. Noble, of Palmyra, Brandon Hudson, of Louisa, and Brute Gardener, of Palmyra, placed second out of 14 teams in the Single Phase Wire Transfer event.

Mitch Dejarnette, middle, receives an award from Gaff-n-go Co-Chairmen C.T. Bryant and Maxie Rozell.

Mitch Dejarnette, middle, receives an award from Gaff-n-go Co-Chairmen C.T. Bryant and Maxie Rozell.

Begun by CVEC 14 years ago and named for the spikes linemen attach to their boots when climbing electric utility poles, the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo is organized by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC).

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The only competition of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo offers professional linemen the opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills as they perform a variety of designated electric line-work tasks. Their performances are timed and scored, with safe work practices the most important factor in judging.

CVEC employees Randy Golladay, of Scottsville, Brian Prue, of Appomattox, and Matthew Wilbun, of Appomattox, served as volunteer judges for this year’s event, while retired CVEC employee C.T. Bryant, of Roseland, continues to serve as co-chair of the VMDAEC’s Gaff-n-Go Rodeo Working Group.

“The Gaff-n-Go Lineman’s Rodeo promotes safety and teamwork,” said Gary Wood, CVEC’s president and CEO. “The job our linemen do to ‘keep the lights on’ for our members is a dangerous one. We’re thrilled that our linemen did well in this year’s competition.”