As a showcase of their occupational skills and safety acumen, Tipmont linemen competed last month at the 38th Annual International Lineman’s Rodeo on Saturday, Oct. 15, in Bonner Springs, Kansas, at the National Agriculture Center and Hall of Fame.
First held in 1984, the International Lineman’s Rodeo has grown from a dozen teams in its inaugural year to more than 200 teams now — competing in individual and team events at journeyman and apprentice levels.
Tipmont’s own Bo Bouwkamp, Matt Bassett, and Dusty Manns participated in the national event, which simulated real-life situations like rescuing an injured lineman from atop an electric pole, replacing lines, and changing out the hardware. As they would on poles inaccessible to their bucket trucks, Bouwkamp, Bassett, and Manns used harnesses around their waists and spiked gaffs strapped to their legs.
At the international event, the Tipmont journeyman team finished 15th out of 35 teams in the co-op division and 98th out of 242 total teams. Manns finished eighth overall out of 56 individuals in the co-op division and 55th out of 390 total competing apprentices.
Their results at the international level come after an outstanding performance in August at the Indiana Electric Cooperatives Lineman Rodeo. There, Bouwkamp and Bassett earned overall first and second place, respectively, in the Individual Journeyman division. Meanwhile, Manns took third place in the hurt man rescue event of the Individual Apprentice division, and the collective team of three took third-place honors overall.
“The rodeos were a great experience for all of us to share together,” Bouwkamp said. “These events allowed us to show people how well we work individually and as a team, all while emphasizing the safety that’s of utmost importance in our line of work.” On the internet side, it’s invigorating to expand access to education, employment, healthcare, or even just entertainment. Sounds great, but you may be among our members wondering: When do I get it?
Please join us in congratulating Bo, Matt, and Dusty on their excellent showing at both events and celebrating their dedication to keeping you safe and comfortable!