Commonwealth Journal

Local News

June 25, 2014

Singleton takes charge and powers ahead for top honors at Lineman Rodeo

Somerset —

Not long ago I kept hearing Glen Campbell’s song Wichita Lineman in my head even though my feet were planted in Bowling Green at the Warren County RECC facility. The Electrical Cooperative was singled out among many others to host the 17th Annual Tennessee Valley Public Power Association’s Lineman Rodeo last weekend.
My head wasn’t in an overload, I just had the opportunity to witness a contest of education and skill by some of the most dedicated workers you can find— electrical lineman. And Pulaski County Linemen are right up there among the best.
There were no horses at this rodeo, but there were plenty of spurs, harnesses, electric poles sticking up out of the ground and, in the senior event, Barney Singleton of South Kentucky RECC, at the top of a pole.
This was Singleton ‘s 35th rodeo, and in the senior event he placed first in overall, first in hurt-man rescue, and fourth in primary service Installation.
“We work for each other,” Singleton said of his South Kentucky RECC teammates when accepting his awards.
The rodeo allows for written testing and features several individual and team contests where the participants are scored on accuracy and amount of time it takes to complete a given task.
Tasks ranged from changing out a transformer, to cross arm relocation, capacitor repair the hurt-man rescue and others.
There were 183 registered power company linemen from Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, many of them with their families.
What I heard many times from different people throughout the event was, “We come here to compete but also learn.”
The tasks at the rodeo are designed to be both a measure of their skill and a learning experience.
For more information the Event web site is at
the local office of South Kentucky RECC in Somerset can be reached at (606) 678-4121
Jim Baird is a professional photographer and freelance writer based in Bowling Green, Ky.

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