AFSCME Local 704

Vernon Union Members Excel in Snow Plow Safety Event

Members of AFSCME Local 1471 and AFSCME Local 818, representing Vernon Department of Public Works employees, are rodeo champions – just not of the cattle-herding variety.

Instead, Vernon public service workers showcased their skill at maneuvering dump trucks and mason trucks by taking first place in the annual Snow Plow Safety “Roadeo” organized by the Connecticut Association of Street and Highway Officials. The event took place Oct. 14 at MountainRidge in Wallingford. 

Local 1471 members Michael Baran, Shaun Tellier and Tony Manfre competed and prevailed against more than 30 municipal and state public works crews. The Roadeo included a driving skills competition and a written test. 

“We worked together as a team,” Tellier said. “We’re proud of what we did.” 

Added Baran: “We worked hard and we had a good time representing our town.” 

The Vernon team took first place in the 6-wheel dump truck event, second place in the mason truck event and best overall (for the second straight year). 

“The Roadeo is a test of skills, but it’s also a safety competition. It measures how our drivers do their job in a safe and efficient manner,” said AFSCME Local 818’s Jeff Schambach, who attended the Roadeo in his capacity as a DPW supervisor. 

The Vernon DPW employees also competed at the regional Snow Plow Safety Roadeo in Fitchburg, MA, where they finished third overall. 

Vernon Mayor Jason McCoy praised AFSCME members in Vernon for their skills and dedication to the job. 

“We are extremely proud of our public works employees for their achievement in the Snow Plow Safety competition as well as for the amazing job they do for Vernon citizens every day,” he said.

Photo Caption:
Front row left to right: Local 1471's Mike Baran and Tony Manfre, Town Administrator John Ward, Mayor Jason McCoy, and Local 1471's Shawn Tellier. Row 2 Left to right.: Former DPW Director Dave Tomko, Local 1471 Vice Pres. D.J. Lupacchino and Local 1471 Sec.-Treas. Pete Lesniak.

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