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

Raleigh, N.C. —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 2:12.15
Ben Hurley Blue Ridge EMC, based in Lenoir, NC 2:39.71
Chuck Nance Brunswick EMC, based in Shallotte, NC 2:23.37
Richard Augustson Cape Hatteras EC based in Buxton, NC 2:19.99
Jonathan Long Carteret-Craven EC, based in Newport, NC 2:19.94
Ken Thomas Central EMC, based in Sanford, NC 2:56.67
Steve Lewis Edgecombe-Martin County EMC, based in Tarboro, NC 2:44.23
Shay Reed – 3rd EnergyUnited, based in Statesville, NC 1:52.23
Russell Wells 4th Four County EMC, based in Burgaw, NC 1:53.13
Jason Worley – 1st French Broad EMC, based in Marshall, NC 1:42.32
Steve Height Halifax EMC, based in Enfield, NC 2:03.09
Clint Riddle Haywood EMC, based in Waynesville, NC 3:51.27
Jarrod Norris Jones-Onslow EMC, based in Jacksonville, NC 3:12.01
Mike Jones Lumbee River EMC, based in Red Springs, NC 2:13.95
Kenneth Simmons II Pee Dee Electric, based in Wadesboro, NC 1:58.87
Brent Talley Piedmont EMC, based in Hillsborough, NC 3:16.48
Danny Lee Randolph EMC, based in Asheboro, NC 2:00.33
Charles Bryant – 5th Roanoke EC, based in Roanoke Rapids, NC 1:58.85
Scott Murray Rutherford EMC, based in Forest City, NC 2:37.04
Bradley Bullard South River EMC, based in Dunn, NC 2:36.77
Mike Mills Surry-Yadkin EMC, based in Dobson, NC 2:17.82
Brad Cox Tideland EMC, based in Pantego, NC 2:39.92
Leonard Person – 2nd Tri-County EMC, based in Dudley, NC 1:44.65
Andy Newsome Union Power, based in Monroe, NC 2:11.49
Jamie Wilson Wake Electric, based in Wake Forest, NC 2:18.47