By CARL GREEN
Madison, IL – Jason Novak of Marion, IL, and IBEW Local 702, won the inaugural Buckingham Climbin' For Linemen competition June 25 at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Novak, an Ameren Illinois employee, used his skills and focus to win the Buckingham championship belt and a vacation package to Mexico provided by the Bevins Company.
The competition, known as the "Hurtman Rescue Championship," is sponsored by Buckingham Manufacturing. The Hurtman Rescue is a procedure all linemen are required to practice annually and entails a co-worker climbing up to the injured lineman and using a hand line rope-and-block to lower him to safety.
Proceeds from the event were donated to the Fallen Linemen Organization (FLO), which memorializes fallen electrical line workers and helps care for the families who have lost – or are impacted by a severe injury to – a loved one in the line of duty.
The competition is part of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin' For Linemen 200.
Christopher Bell, 20, won the Drivin’ for Linemen 200 as he dueled with another young driver, Ben Rhodes, 19, over the last two laps.