CASTRIES, Saint Lucia, April 2nd, 2019 – As those charged with the often-dangerous job of powering communities and the first responders for utility infrastructural restoration following a disaster, the critical role of the linesman in strengthening Caribbean communities will be under focus at the annual Linesman Rodeo and Tools Symposium. Coordinated by the Caribbean Electric Utilities Corporation (CARILEC) in collaboration with St. Kitts Electricity Services Ltd, the 2019 symposium which is scheduled to run from Monday April 15 to Thursday April 18, and culminating with a rodeo on Saturday April 20, 2019.
The three-day symposium is being held under the theme “Caribbean Linesman: Creating Connections; Strengthening Communities”. The activity will build capacity among Lineman Supervisors and Line workers through a range of methods which include presentations, teaching modules and practical skill-building activities, and a technical tour of the electric utility plant in St. Kitts.
CARILEC’s Training Manager Ms. Laurena Primus described the work of the Linesman as the keystone of the work of the electricity industry “as they are the ones who work with the infrastructure that brings electricity closer to our homes. They are the ones called upon to work in rain, storm or disaster to restore lines and poles in order to get the lights back on.”
For these reasons and consistent with CARILEC’s objective to ensure the regional industry remains in step with new technologies, safety protocols and techniques “the education of the linesman is a continuous undertaking, because it is critical for both worker and consumer safety as well as for service reliability and access”, Ms. Primus added.
The rodeo provides a platform for lineman technicians to represent both themselves and their utility, through various competitive pole-climbing events which challenge them to safely demonstrate skill under pressure, with agility and accuracy. “Safety practices and behaviors are cemented with repetition and practice. The Rodeo requires the Line worker to bring all of his experiences to bear in a series of tasks that demand safe execution with no room for error. Points are lost on every mistake; therefore, the line worker is compelled to view his work with a keener eye for safety in an environment of fun,” Ms. Primus concluded.
Staged as a free event which is open to the public, the rodeo delivers on the objective of public information, awareness and appreciation of the work of the Linesman and the range of careers on offer by the Electric sector. The event is open to utility companies, family members of utility workers, the public and independent power producers.