WINTER GARDEN, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - Duke Energy workers are practicing their skills to get ready for the International Lineman’s Rodeo competition.
Suiting up to climb sky high is all in a day’s work for linemen.
The best Duke Energy linemen in Florida are putting in some extra training to be ready for the biggest linemen rodeo in the world.
It has nothing to do with riding a bull, but everything to do with speed, agility, technique and safety.
“You have to stay focused at all times and look out for everybody else,” apprentice lineman Tanner O’Shea said.
It also means learning how to let go while holding on. Tossing a soccer ball back and forth is one way they learn balance and coordination.
Holding a raw egg in their mouths while they climb the pole is one way the competition steps it up a notch by testing speed while trying not to get sloppy.
But make no mistake, this job is dangerous and accidents can happen. That’s why they also train to perform rescues.
“With the hurt man rescue, you gotta get somebody down in four minutes, otherwise they might not live so that’s why we practice that in a real life environment,” lineman Michael Leininger said.
With just one more week until the competition in Kansas, the 12 Duke Energy linemen that won top spots at the Florida competition will soon be up against more than a thousand others around the world.
They’re training for a competition and bragging rights, but also training to be better at their jobs.