In a competition showcasing lifesaving skills, 25 electric cooperative lineworkers from across North Carolina raced against the clock – and their peers – for top honors at the 2023 Pole Top Rescue held at Nash Community College on Thursday.
During the competition, each lineworker executed a rescue scenario of retrieving an unconscious coworker from atop a utility pole. Each competitor, dressed in full climbing gear of up to 20 pounds, is judged on their swiftness and proficiency in radioing for help, scaling 20 feet up a utility pole, lowering a weighted mannequin and beginning CPR.
To advance to the state competition, each of the 25 competitors had to win a similar rescue event against their peers at their local electric cooperative. This year, Wake EMC’s own Chase Kearney completed the exercise with a time of 2:56.
Kearney is a committed lineman whose journey started after high school graduation in June 2019 when he enrollment in Climbing School in August 2019. Demonstrating a commitment to personal and career development, he successfully completed the Lineman Program at Nash Community College by June 2020. He specialized in overhead fiber work from June 2020 to November 2022, before ultimately finding his place at Wake Electric Membership Cooperative in November 2022. Kearney’s profound dedication continues to propel him towards excellence within his field and within the cooperative.
The biennial competition is hosted by North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives with members of its training and safety team serving as judges. All North Carolina electric cooperative lineworkers must complete this same scenario in less than five minutes to maintain their certification to work on co-op power lines.