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OUC Team Earns Top 5 Finish at 2024 Florida Lineman Competition

Mar 21, 2024

ORLANDO, Fla. – A team of journeymen line technicians from OUC– The Reliable One placed fourth at the recent 2024 Florida Municipal Electric Association Lineman Competition in Jacksonville on Feb. 23 and 24. 

This was the first time since 2012 that OUC has placed a journeyman team in the top five in the contest, which brings together line workers from across the state and is most commonly referred to as the Lineman Rodeo. This year, the OUC journeymen faced off against 22 other teams from 15 FMEA-member utilities.

The team of Austin Houk, line technician II, of Chuluota; Evan Englert, line technician II, of Winter Park; and Nelson Rodriguez, distribution operator, of St. Cloud, placed second in the 4kV 600 Amp Disconnect Change Out event, second in 35kV Suspension Bell Change Out, and fifth in Hurtman Rescue. The trio earned a fourth-place finish overall in the competition with these results.

“The sense of unity with the OUC rodeo teams this year was truly remarkable. It was evident in the way that they supported each other both on and off the competition field. Bringing their families to the event added an extra layer of support. Everyone played a part in uplifting the teams, whether it was through cheering from the sidelines or offering help behind the scenes,” said Rick Taylor, electric distribution construction and maintenance manager.

Held annually since 2001, the Lineman Competition tests skills, speed and safety awareness in tasks that line technicians typically see in the field as they install and repair cables, wires and other equipment on utility poles and transmission towers.

Although the lines are not energized during the events, the voltage a line technician would encounter in a similar real-life situation is specified. Participants are timed in each event, with judges also monitoring for strict adherence to competition guidelines and deducting points for “gigs” (faults).

At OUC, line technicians complete seven to eight years of training as apprentices – and undergo a rigorous testing and certification process – before becoming journeymen.


The journeyman team of (left to right) Austin Houk, line technician II, Nelson Rodriguez, distribution operator, and Evan Englert, line technician II, at the 2024 Florida Municipal Electric Association Lineman Competition awards banquet.

About OUC—The
Reliable One

In June 2023, OUC—The Reliable One celebrated 100 years of providing exceptional value to its customers and community through the delivery of sustainable and reliable services and solutions. The utility provides electric, water, chilled water, lighting and solar services to more than 400,000 accounts in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties. As OUC prepares for the next century, it remains committed to its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 while supporting its community with conservation, sustainability and energy efficiency resources. Visit to learn more.