Lineworker boot camp grads show off new skills

Students of the Lineworker’s Boot Camp work on various parts of a utility pole Wednesday at Lake-Sumter State College. The exhibition was the end of a six-week rapid credentialing program in front of electric utilities representatives. Students dug a hole and set a utility pole, climbed utility poles, and demonstrated pole-top rescues.

Lake-Sumter State College Basic Lineworker Boot Camp instructor Randall Blackburn credits the credential he earned nearly 10 years ago for his first job with a power company.

“If I would not have had this basic certificate, I truly believe I would not have been hired on,” he said Wednesday as he watched his students demonstrate the skills they had learned before representatives of about 10 power companies and contractors.

The college hosted a skills exhibition of the seven students completing its first six-week Lineworker Boot Camp, which concludes today.

In a field with poles and lines not connected to a power source behind the Sumterville campus, the students climbed power poles, set power poles into the ground and demonstrated rescues of 180-pound dummies hanging from near the top of power poles simulating injured lineworkers. The industry standard calls for lineworkers to be able to rescue injured colleagues within four minutes or less, a time that includes putting on climbing equipment and safety straps, college spokesman Kevin Yurasek said.

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