Fall River Electric Cooperative’s Journeyman lineman Derek Hanks has been awarded the 2023 Safety Heroism Award by the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA). The award was presented recently at NWPPA’s annual Engineering and Operations Conference in Reno, Nevada.
On his way to work last November, Hanks passed an accident that involved a vehicle which had struck an animal in the roadway, then left the highway striking a power pole causing the pole to come down on the ground with the power lines still energized. Police and emergency personnel were on the scene however, the energized line resulted in dangerous conditions near these first responders. Hanks, with the assistance of fellow linemen Braidan Martindale and Trevor Ostberg, immediately moved emergency personnel away from the energized lines and then stayed on-site until a crew from Rocky Mountain Power arrived to de-energize their line. The action taken by Hanks and his partners prevented emergency personnel from potentially being electrocuted.
The Safety Heroism Award recognizes an NWPPA member utility employee that displays an act of unselfish and voluntary assistance in a situation where life, significant injury, or significant property loss would have been incurred were it not for the efforts of the individual.
NWPPA is an international association representing more than 150 customer-owned, locally controlled utilities in the Western U.S. and Canada.