Award honors co-op employee’s life-saving call

An electric cooperative employee’s quick thinking and concern for a member’s well-being led to recognition from a statewide organization.

Shannon Klinker, an assistant accountant/payroll clerk at Two Harbors-based Cooperative Light & Power (CLP), fielded a call last month from a co-op member looking for any lineworkers who were current or former volunteer firefighters to check on her carbon monoxide detector which was going off.

Cooperative Light & Power Assistant Accountant/Payroll Clerk Shannon Klinker receives the MREA LIFEguard Award.

Klinker had an uneasy feeling hearing this and decided to call 911 to provide the member with professional emergency assistance. An ambulance and firefighters arrived to find the member in distress and then transported her to the hospital where she was treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Being directly responsible for saving someone’s life is nothing to be taken lightly. But it’s the CLP family way of always caring for our community and members that makes us special,” said CLP Chief Executive Officer Hal Halpern.

To recognize Klinker’s life-saving action, she was presented with a LIFEguard on Duty Award from the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA). This awards program honors those who have acted to save lives or prevent serious injuries and found ways to turn those experiences into teachable moments with lasting impact on others.

“The message behind LIFEguard on Duty is that it gives co-op employees and their families constant reminders that people are stepping up to save lives and prevent injuries both on and off the job,” said Lidia Dilley Jacobson, MREA’s director of safety and loss control. “When we recognize people for that, we inspire others to do the same, and that helps promote the culture of safety we’ve set as a goal.”