Pacific Gas and Electric Company

05/19/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/19/2024 14:33

PG&E Line Workers Show Skills – and Competitiveness – at West Coast Rodeo

A decade ago, Alex Clardy could only experience the West Coast Lineman's Rodeo on YouTube.

Now he gets to experience it in real life.

Clardy, a Stockton-based GC line worker for PG&E, was among more than 100 journey and apprentice line workers competing Saturday at the 2024 PG&E/IBEW 1245 West Coast Lineman's Rodeo.

"It was 10 years ago I decided to get into this work and watching rodeo videos is what got me hooked," Clardy said. "It's amazing I'm here now as a journeyman competing with some of the guys I used to watch on their videos on YouTube."

The rodeo, in which line workers compete in events that simulate on-the-job scenarios, is a chance to safely demonstrate line skills for friends, family and the public.

It's also a chance to compete for the opportunity to represent PG&E in the International Lineman's Rodeo in October in Bonner Springs, Kan.

"These guys are competitive," said Joe Holbert, construction superintendent, who also leads PG&E's Rodeo Committee, the group that coordinates the volunteer event. "They want to be the best of the best."

The 2024 event drew 50 apprentices and 19 three-person journey teams from utilities throughout California and Nevada.

Competitors participate in events such as pole climbs, simulated rescues and mystery events designed to safely test their skills with tools, climbing and teamwork.

While the events are designed to test real world skills, the competition uses non-energized conductor on poles set for training at PG&E's Livermore Electric Service Academy.

While competition is the centerpiece of the day, there is as much action outside the events, including a family fun area with arts and crafts and games, food trucks, music, vendors and an overall family-friendly vibe.

"We have families, spouses and kids coming in and seeing what their parents are doing," said Ahmad Ababneh, PG&E Vice President of Transmission and Substation Operations. "It's not just for competing, it's to really have fun and enjoy the day as one PG&E family."