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OUC linemen show off skills ahead of competition

Linemen rodeo held in Gainesville

ORLANDO, Fla. – Have you ever wonder what it's like to be a lineman? It's not as easy as you might think.  

Linemen from the Orlando Utilities Commission demonstrated Monday what the job is all about by climbing up power poles in a matter of seconds. 

"You can’t be scared of heights or scared of electricity. I mean, it’s stressful, it’s hot, everything we wear -- we have to wear long sleeves, fire-proof pants, fire-proof shirts," Michael Atout said.

Atout has been a lineman for five years and always wanted to be one since he was young. Being a lineman is one of the most physically and mentally grueling jobs there is, and with that comes an infectious sense of pride.

"It’s an adrenaline rush. It’s a good time. We all loved our job," Atout said.

Safety is a top priority when it comes to the job, and on Monday, linemen demonstrated their emergency protocol in case someone gets electrocuted while working. However, they hope that will never be the case.

OUC linemen were also in the Panhandle to help restore power after Hurricane Michael last year.

"We were up there for two weeks straight of 16-hour days, seven days a week, and it’s the worst of the worst. All the poles are down, wire everywhere," Atout said. 

The OUC is sending 17 of its best linemen to Gainesville this upcoming weekend for the Linemen Rodeo competition held every year.


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