Electric line workers (linemen) from publicly-owned electric utilities all across Oklahoma will come together in Pryor later this month for competition, camaraderie and, most importantly, safety’s sake.

It is the annual Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) 2017 Lineworkers’ Rodeo & Training Session, to be hosted by the Grand River Dam Authority and held at the MidAmerica Industrial Park (MAIP) Expo Center October 25-26.

Safety training and discussions on storm preparation and readiness will be the main topic of the first day, with the actual “rodeo” taking place on day two.

These rodeos allows the men and women who maintain electric power lines in Oklahoma public power communities to put their skills to the test against the clock and against each other.

They climb poles, splice damaged lines, change fuses, conduct simulated “hurt man” rescue operations and work together. And really, it is that last thing – working together – that makes such events so important for Oklahoma.

Of course, public power utilities are owned by the customers they serve, allowing for local control, not-for-profit rates and local resources that match local needs.

However, when Oklahoma weather gets ugly – tornados, ice storms, flooding – those small local systems can be hit hard and, often, that means the job of rebuilding, replacement and repairs is accomplished with the help of other public power crews in the state.

In fact, one very important event at the rodeo is always the “mutual aid” exercise which requires teams, made of up lineworkers from different utilities, to cooperate on an effort to repair a downed distribution line. It is a timed event, with winners being recognized, but the real goal is cooperation.

GRDA is proud to play host to this special event and proud to be part of the greater Oklahoma public power team!

Headquartered in Vinita, Grand River Dam Authority is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s power touches 75 of 77 counties in the state. GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. For more information, persons interested may visit www.grda.com, or http://bit.ly/grda-grandlake.