Pictured above: Linemen on Crew 2114, Chris Falls (left), Josh Hoffman (middle) and Brandon Jackson (right).
A typical day on the job for an overhead line worker might involve servicing power lines, putting up a utility pole or repairing electrical equipment. That routine changed for three linemen when an unexpected emergency occurred at a customer’s home during a recent power restoration.
It was a regular Tuesday and Josh Hofmann, Chris Falls and Brandon Jackson, overhead linemen on Crew 2114, were restoring power at a customer’s home in Huron Township. At the end of the job, Chris and Brandon went to the front of the house to do a voltage check, and Josh went around to the back. As he was walking by, Josh heard a strange noise. He looked over, and that’s when he found the 73-year-old customer at the bottom of the staircase, upside down and wedged between the bottom step and the basement door.
Josh ran downstairs to attend to the customer and found he suffered a few injuries from the fall.
“He was in a difficult position, so I moved him upright and noticed his head was bleeding in three spots and he had some scrapes on his arms,” Josh said.
He ran upstairs and yelled for Chris and Brandon to call 9-1-1.
“Brandon and I were outside when the next thing we knew, Josh was telling us the customer fell downstairs and to call 9-1-1,” Chris said. “I dialed 9-1-1 and Brandon made sure to get the address for me.”
Josh also called the customer’s daughter to let her know what happened and that an ambulance was on the way.
“When I called her to tell her I was from DTE and that her dad fell and we called an ambulance, she thought it was a prank call,” Josh said. “After realization, she and her husband rushed over to help.”
While waiting for the paramedics to arrive, Josh grabbed the first aid kit out of the truck, and the three guys began administering first aid. They helped stop the bleeding from the customer’s head and comforted him until the paramedics came and took him to the hospital. Linemen are trained in first aid and CPR. Each of their vehicles also include an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), so they are ready to respond during a medical emergency.
The guys’ actions that day, show how important it is to have situational awareness on the job and to be in the impact of being in the right place at the right time.
“If Josh hadn’t seen him, I don’t know how long he would’ve been in that position,” Chris said. “He was in a difficult position when I found him. He was sitting on his phone, so to call for help, he would’ve either had to get himself out of it. At 73 might have been hard to do. He would’ve been stuck like that until someone found him.”
Josh was grateful to be there to help and hopes someone would do something like that for him if he was in that situation.
Stephen Roberts, field overhead supervisor of the crew, applauds his team for taking action that day.
“I was proud to see our team jump into action and take control of the situation,” Stephen said. “The entire crew worked with a high level of professionalism. They called for emergency care, administered first aid and provided comfort while waiting for emergency vehicles to come. Great job.”
Stephen stopped by to see the customer after the event, and while still a little sore, he is doing OK. He expressed his appreciation for our crew that day, and he was very grateful for our help. So was his daughter.
Thank you, Josh, Chris and Brandon, for going above and beyond for our customers.