BarCo linemen compete to connect
Linemen compete in 2-day event testing skills and safety
For the second year, the Barry Electric Cooperative sent local linemen to compete in a two-day event that tests skills used on the job and raises money to send Missouri linemen to developing countries to connect those nations with electricity.
This year, the Cooperative sent three linemen, Kevin Holloway, Tim Thompson and Brian Robbins. The group won first place in the team division and brought home the first-place trophy. Thompson won the individual journeyman division and brought home that trophy for the second year in a row.
“There are so many great linemen competing, and it is a huge honor to win the Individual Division again,” Thompson said. “I know all of us are looking forward to competing again next year.”
The event was held on Aug. 28-29 at the associations headquarters in Jefferson City. Missouri electric cooperatives sent 11 teams, with a total of 43 linemen from eight cooperatives, including Barry County.
Some of the challenges the teams faced include, the hurt-man rescue, pole climbs and equipment repair. Linemen were also given a 100-question test. Participants are judged on how safely they perform each task, and speed is only factored in the event of a tie.
In early February, Robbins volunteered to go to Bolivia for a week to help bring electricity to those who did not have access to it. Robbins was one of 14 other volunteers who worked on the project called “Brighter Bolivia.”
“The event is specifically for electrifying third world countries, and we will always have linemen who want to help,” said Laura Holycross, member services coordinator for the Barry Electric Cooperative and goBEC Fiber Network.