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<<2008 Press Releases

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

Raleigh, N.C. (October 15, 2008)—Jason Worley, a line worker with French Broad Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) based in Marshall, N.C., is the 11th Pole Top Rescue Champion for North Carolina’s electric cooperatives. After taking second at the 2006 Pole Top Rescue Competition, Worley said he was determined to take the title in 2008.

Worley beat 24 other local champions Wednesday at the state competition held on the lawn of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives’ headquarters building. He recorded a time of 1-minute, 42.33 seconds, securing the first place title by more than 2 seconds. 

The pole top rescue drill consists of a line worker placing an emergency radio call, donning climbing gear, scaling 20 feet up a utility pole, rigging a rope, lowering a 105-pound mannequin and beginning CPR.

Placing second was two-time defending champion Leonard Person of Tri-County EMC, based in Dudley, N.C. Person finished the drill in 1-minute, 44.65 seconds. Shay Reed of EnergyUnited, based in Statesville, placed third with a time of 1-minute, 52.23 seconds. The fourth place winner was Russell Wells of Four County EMC, based in Burgaw. His time was 1-minute, 53.13 seconds. Rounding out the top five competitors was Charles Bryant of Roanoke Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Rich Square, with a time of 1-minute, 58.85 seconds. 

More than 600 North Carolina electric cooperative line workers began the year competing for the 2008 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 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 below for the times of each competitor.

Name of Contestant

Electric Cooperative


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


Richard Augustson

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


Shay Reed – 3rd

EnergyUnited, based in Statesville, NC


Russell Wells 4th

Four County EMC, based in Burgaw, NC


Jason Worley – 1st

French Broad EMC, based in Marshall, NC


Steve Height

Halifax EMC, based in Enfield, NC


Clint Riddle

Haywood EMC, based in Waynesville, NC


Jarrod Norris

Jones-Onslow EMC, based in Jacksonville, NC


Mike Jones

Lumbee River EMC, based in Red Springs, NC


Kenneth Simmons II

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 – 5th

Roanoke EC, based in Roanoke Rapids, NC


Scott Murray

Rutherford EMC, based in Forest City, NC


Bradley Bullard

South River EMC, based in Dunn, NC


Mike Mills

Surry-Yadkin EMC, based in Dobson, NC


Brad Cox

Tideland EMC, based in Pantego, NC


Leonard Person – 2nd

Tri-County EMC, based in Dudley, NC


Andy Newsome

Union Power, based in Monroe, NC


Jamie Wilson

Wake Electric, based in Wake Forest, NC


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