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<<2010 Press Releases

N.C. Electric Co-op Line Workers Crown New Champions

Raleigh, N.C. (October 13, 2010)—Jason Worley and Danny Lee, line workers from French Broad EMC in Marshall and Randolph EMC in Asheboro, respectively, were crowned Pole Top Rescue Champions on Wednesday. This year’s competition had two categories based on the type of fall restraints used by the competitors. Both categories used 100 percent fall protection, but there were differences in how the competitors were secured to the pole.  One group secured themselves in the traditional way with a lifeline and life hook, while the other group used personal fall restraints that protect from falls during the ascent and descent. Worley took home the first prize in the traditional category, and Lee won the category that uses personal fall protection.

Worley and Lee beat 23 other local champions Wednesday at the state competition held on the lawn of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives. Worley, the returning champion, recorded a time of 1:30.71, and Lee’s time was 1:59.84.

In the Pole Top Rescue scenario, line workers place an emergency radio call, don climbing gear, scale 20 feet up a utility pole, rig a rope, lower a 105-pound mannequin and begin CPR.

The second and third place competitors in the traditional category were Kenny Simmons of Pee Dee EMC (Wadesboro) in a time of 1:33.96, and Freddy White of Four County EMC (Burgaw) in a time of 1:39.35. Rounding out second and third place in the personal fall protection category were Justin Collins of Surry-Yadkin EMC (Dobson) in a time of 2:23.45, and Matthew Byrum of Albemarle EMC (Hertford) in a time of 2:24.44.

More than 600 North Carolina electric cooperative line workers began the year competing for the 2010 title. Winners of local cooperative and regional competitions advanced to Wednesday’s state championship.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives provide energy to 2.5 million people in 93 of the state’s 100 counties, primarily in the rural parts of state. The electric cooperatives own and maintain more than 95,000 miles of power lines, by far the most of any electric utility in North Carolina.

Please see the chart below for the times of each competitor.

Name of Contestant

Electric Cooperative

Time (Minutes:seconds)

Matthew Byrum

Albemarle EMC, based in Hertford, NC


Ben Hurley

Blue Ridge EMC, based in Lenoir, NC


Chuck Nance

Brunswick EMC, based in Shallotte, NC


Jonathan Vernesoni

Cape Hatteras EC based in Buxton, NC


Jonathan Long

Carteret-Craven EC, based in Newport, NC


Ken Thomas

Central EMC, based in Sanford, NC


Steve Lewis

Edgecombe-Martin County EMC, based in Tarboro, NC


Lee Lackey

EnergyUnited, based in Statesville, NC


Freddy White

Four County EMC, based in Burgaw, NC


Jason Worley

French Broad EMC, based in Marshall, NC


Steve Height Jr.

Halifax EMC, based in Enfield, NC


Brian Noland

Haywood EMC, based in Waynesville, NC


David Raynor

Jones-Onslow EMC, based in Jacksonville, NC


Mike Jones

Lumbee River EMC, based in Red Springs, NC


Kenny Simmons

Pee Dee Electric, based in Wadesboro, NC


Brent Talley

Piedmont EMC, based in Hillsborough, NC


Danny Lee

Randolph EMC, based in Asheboro, NC


Charles Bryant

Roanoke EC, based in Roanoke Rapids, NC


Scott Murray

Rutherford EMC, based in Forest City, NC


Timothy Williams

South River EMC, based in Dunn, NC


Justin Collins

Surry-Yadkin EMC, based in Dobson, NC


Brad Cox

Tideland EMC, based in Pantego, NC


Leonard Person

Tri-County EMC, based in Dudley, NC


Jeff Furr

Union Power, based in Monroe, NC


Cory Lawrence

Wake Electric, based in Wake Forest, NC


* Denotes competitor wearing personal fall protection.




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