Paris Board of Public Utilities linemen earned eight awards at the 22nd annual Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo June 21-22 in Lenoir City.

This rodeo brings linemen from seven states to a competition designed to test linemen on safety skills and technical training through a variety of contests, including a simulation that tests their ability to safely rescue an injured colleague, their ability to safely and rapidly climb to the top of a utility pole and several other events that test critical skills related to their jobs.

Apprentice linemen Tyler Frey and Josef Neumair along with journeyman linemen Ben White, Darin Parker, Randall French, Gatlin Primrose and Mike McSwain represented the BPU at this year’s competition.

The linemen were unable to stay for the whole event, as they needed to come home June 21 to help restore power to Henry County after storms caused widespread outages.

On July 1, Kari Crouse with the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association and Tennessee Valley Lineman Rodeo Chairman Raymond Barnes visited Paris to present the BPU linemen with their awards since they were unable to attend the presentation on June 22.

Parker received four awards in the senior category, including first place in hurt man rescue, third place in fuse replacement, third place in B-1 tie-in and second place in the overall senior competition.

White earned third place in the journeyman alley arm insulator change-out and second place in the journeyman fuse replacement.

McSwain placed third in the journeyman egg climb event.

Frey earned third place in the apprentice written test.

Barnes and Crouse both commended the BPU on not only their performance at the event, but also their dedication and service to their community.

“I am incredibly proud of our guys,” said BPU Director of Engineering and Operations Cole Edwards. “They train for this, they love competing and it is nice seeing our guys earn much deserved state and even national recognition for their skills.”

Linemen undergo years of extensive safety and technical training to become qualified to perform critical jobs.

BPU linemen perform their work in a wide variety of challenging conditions such as rain storms, intense heat, strong winds and snow.

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