Utility linemen put to the test in Lakeland

- Utility linemen from across the state have descended on Lakeland. They're here for the 17th Annual Florida Linemen Competition.

More than 150 participants will put their skills to the test with the hopes of being able to say they're the best lineman in Florida.

"These gentlemen are highly trained professionals," explains Robert Padgett, a senior lineman for Lakeland Electric. "They make it look easy, but it's difficult."

The toughest task for most of the linemen is climbing up an electric pole.

"It's very physical," says Garrett Doyle, a third generation Lakeland Electric lineman.

Doyle has been a lineman for just 9 weeks, so he won't be participating in the competition until next year, but he showed FOX13 just how grueling some of the tasks of a lineman are. Doyle says he will do the best he can to win next year.

This is the third year Lakeland Electric is hosting the event. They hosted the very first competition back in 2001. The festivities kick of Saturday at 8:00 a.m. behind the Tigertown complex in Lakeland. It's open to the public and admission is free.

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