Wisconsin utility teams take top spots at International Lineman’s Rodeo

MILWAUKEE, Wis., September 11, 2001 — Wisconsin Electric-Wisconsin Gas officials (WE-WG) always knew they employed some of the world’s best line mechanics – the people who build and maintain electric power lines. Now they know it, the utility said.

WE-WG crews took the top positions in two of five journeymen events in the 18th annual International Lineman’s Rodeo, held this past weekend in Kansas City, Mo. A WE-WG employee also took second place in the overall apprentice competition and second place in the written test competition, while another apprentice finished in fourth place in the knot-tying competition for apprentices. A total of 237 utility teams from around the world participated in the Rodeo.

“We’re extremely proud of our crews and apprentice workers for the outstanding results they achieved in this international competition,” said Charles Cole, WE-WG senior vice president-Distribution Operations. “Any time you go into head-to-head competition with the world’s best and come out on top, you just know that your hard work and attention to safety and details were all worth it. I join with all of our employees in congratulating each of our participants.”

The Fox-Valley Area WE-WG team of Dan Verhagen, Bill Andrews and Darren Kennett took first place in the hurt-man rescue in the journeyman competition. The event requires two team members to climb a utility pole, give assistance to an injured co-worker (in this case, a dummy placed at the top of the pole) and then lower the injured worker to the third worker at the base of the pole. Each team member is individually graded and scores are then combined for a team score. Andrews had a perfect score, completing his portion of the task in 63.84 seconds.

The Burlington-area WE-WG journeyman team of Mike Pakes, Jeff Klein and his brother, Dave Klein, took first place in the speed climb. This event is scored the same as hurt-man rescue. Pakes recorded the fastest time among those climbers with perfect scores – 18.76 seconds. Pakes and the Kleins took second place in last year’s international pole-climbing event.

WE-WG’s Dale Hartung, who works out of the company’s Waukesha Service Center, took second place in the overall apprentice competition and came in second place in the written test competition. Derek Dorn of WE-WG’s West Bend Service Center office took fourth place in the knot-tying competition.

Wisconsin Electric-Wisconsin Gas, the principal utility subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corp. (NYSE: WEC), serves more than one million electric customers and more than 960,000 natural gas customers throughout Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Visit our company’s Web site at www.WE-WG.com. Learn about Wisconsin Energy Corp. by visiting www.WisconsinEnergy.com

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