Line crews from eight utilities ready the field for the FMEA Lineman Competition on March 4 in Orlando.

The field setup for the Florida Municipal Electric Association’s (FMEA) Lineman Competition in Orlando on March 4 has moved closer to completion, thanks to powerline crews from eight utilities, including event host OUC, putting the finishing touches on utility poles competitors will climb in timed events.

About 60 powerline technicians spent Feb. 22 outfitting the utility poles for the various events that 77 apprentice lineworkers and 22, three-member journeyman teams will compete in for trophies. Set six feet in the ground, the aligned 40-foot competition poles bear a striking resemblance to the poles found in a typical electric utility’s service territory. Some are equipped with transformers and some have crossarms, while all are connected by non-energized wires.

Line techs came from near and far to help with the competition field setup on Feb. 22.

Joining OUC line techs on the daylong competition field setup were teams from Jacksonville Electric Authority, Beaches Energy Services, Clay Electric Cooperative, New Smyrna Beach Utilities, Lakeland Electric, City of Tallahassee Utilities, and Ocala Electric Utility. Students with Valencia College’s Powerline Technician program also were on hand to help.

As the host utility, OUC is responsible for the site setup, which in addition to 101 utility poles will include spaces for spectators, parking, stage, coolers with free bottled water, children’s play zone, covered dining area, food trucks and portable restrooms. Also at the field will be sustainability displays, including OUC’s Tiny Green Home, a 200-square-foot showroom of sustainable living, electric vehicles, live powerline safety demonstrations by Pike Electric, and vendor displays.

The Lineman Competition will be held on an open field where T.G. Lee Boulevard ends near the Marriott Orlando Airport Lakeside. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. and is free to attend.