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

Raleigh, N.C. —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 2:24.44*
Ben Hurley Blue Ridge EMC, based in Lenoir, NC 2:33.03
Chuck Nance Brunswick EMC, based in Shallotte, NC 3:44.19
Jonathan Vernesoni Cape Hatteras EC based in Buxton, NC 2:40.17
Jonathan Long Carteret-Craven EC, based in Newport, NC 1:52.55
Ken Thomas Central EMC, based in Sanford, NC 3:40.33*
Steve Lewis Edgecombe-Martin County EMC, based in Tarboro, NC 2:48.03
Lee Lackey EnergyUnited, based in Statesville, NC 3:00.84*
Freddy White Four County EMC, based in Burgaw, NC 1:39.35
Jason Worley French Broad EMC, based in Marshall, NC 1:30.71
Steve Height Jr. Halifax EMC, based in Enfield, NC 2:32.44
Brian Noland Haywood EMC, based in Waynesville, NC 2:29.16
David Raynor Jones-Onslow EMC, based in Jacksonville, NC 2:45.90*
Mike Jones Lumbee River EMC, based in Red Springs, NC 2:29.62*
Kenny Simmons Pee Dee Electric, based in Wadesboro, NC 1:33.96
Brent Talley Piedmont EMC, based in Hillsborough, NC 2:35.85
Danny Lee Randolph EMC, based in Asheboro, NC 1:59.84*
Charles Bryant Roanoke EC, based in Roanoke Rapids, NC 2:05.60
Scott Murray Rutherford EMC, based in Forest City, NC 2:30.16*
Timothy Williams South River EMC, based in Dunn, NC 3:22.63*
Justin Collins Surry-Yadkin EMC, based in Dobson, NC 2:23.45*
Brad Cox Tideland EMC, based in Pantego, NC 2:45.79*
Leonard Person Tri-County EMC, based in Dudley, NC 1:39.56
Jeff Furr Union Power, based in Monroe, NC 3:52.88*
Cory Lawrence Wake Electric, based in Wake Forest, NC 2:31.18*

* Denotes competitor wearing personal fall protection.