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A team of Delaware Electric Cooperative linemen brought home top honors at the Gaff-N-Go Lineworker Rodeo held near Richmond, Va. on May 13-14. DEC’s Philip Collison, Dave Morgan and Mike Layton won a second consecutive Jimmy Gardner Award, given to the top co-op linemen team from the Mid-Atlantic.

DEC apprentices Cole Baker and Jared Campbell competed in the event, with Campbell placing third in the CPR with AED competition and sixth overall. Linemen Harrison Burris, Stephen Hearn and Dale Breeding were also proud to represent DEC at the competition.

Named for the spikes linemen attach to their boots when climbing electric utility poles, the Gaff-n-Go Rodeo is organized by the Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives (VMDAEC). The only competition of its type in the Mid-Atlantic region, the Gaff-n-Go Lineworker Rodeo offers professional linemen the opportunity to demonstrate their technical skills as they perform a variety of designated electric line-work tasks. Their performances are timed and scored, with safe work practices the most important factor in judging.

According to Co-op President and CEO Greg Starheim, “I couldn’t be prouder of our linemen for earning the top co-op honor at the competition. Our employees work hard to provide reliable power to roughly 300,000 Delawareans. We know our crews are some of the best in the nation and their performance at the Rodeo is a testament to their dedication to their craft.”

More than 160 lineworkers gathered at the Rodeo, which returned after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID -19 pandemic. DEC’s team will now compete in the International Lineman’s Rodeo, the Super Bowl of lineman events, which will be held in October in Kansas City, Mo.

Delaware Electric Cooperative is a member-owned not-for-profit utility powering more than 110,000 homes, farms and businesses in Kent and Sussex Counties. For more information, visit DEC on the web at or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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