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Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


Lineworkers bring home rodeo hardware

August 4, 2021 | Jason Kuiper |
OPPD participants in the 2021 Nebraska Lineworkers Rodeo

This year’s Nebraska Lineworker Rodeo maybe have been scaled back due to COVID-19 guidelines, but the competition was still strong.

The rodeo, which was first held in 2012, took place July 30 at the Custer County Fairgrounds in Broken Bow, Neb., and featured competitors from across the state – 50 in all.

OPPD was represented by the journeyman team of Tony Liston and Pat Wagoner. Three apprentices – Ted Gyhra, Richard Terrian and Andrew Walter also competed. Brent Sass participated as an event judge.

Public power utilities from across Nebraska converged in Broken Bow on July 31 for the 2021 Nebraska Lineworkers Rodeo. Photo by Lee O’Neal

Each of the OPPD teams completed three events. Following regular competition, participants competed in a special mutual aid competition. There, each competitor teamed up with a person from another company and they completed a fuse change-out event together.

In the journeymen events, Liston and Wagoner finished second in the fuse cutout change event. Gyhra captured first place in the speed climb event and the hurt man rescue. Gyhra also finished second in the obstacle course and was the Grand Champion of the Apprentice competition. This is the first time that this achievement has been awarded to an OPPD linemen

“These guys did a fantastic job of representing OPPD to the rest of the state,” said Lee O’Neil, director of Transmission & Distribution Construction.

The event tests lineworkers on their skills in the field, including rescues. Photo by Lee O’Neal
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About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He is a former staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where he covered a wide range of topics but spent the majority of his career covering crime. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has also appeared in several true crime documentary shows. In his free time he enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and three children, and reading crime novels.

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