Great River Energy employees Lonnie Levy and Zachary Heskin left the cooperative’s Spiritwood Station power plant in North Dakota when they witnessed a tire blowout and subsequent rollover of a tandem water truck from Northern Improvement Company.
When the truck hit the shoulder, it went airborne, rolled and landed upside down in the ditch. Levy pulled over, grabbed his first-aid kit and assisted in getting the door open so the driver could exit the truck. Heskin located the battery cut-off switch to stop the various alarms that were sounding inside the cab so they could better communicate with the driver. He also called 911 and directed help to the scene.
“I’d say we were both nervous as the rollover was violent and the truck cab was level with the truck. We expected the driver to be hurt a lot more then he was,” Levy said.
The driver was wearing his seatbelt and walked away from the accident with only minor injuries. Northern Improvement Company sent a letter of thanks to Levy and Heskin for their quick efforts in helping the driver in his time of need.
“It didn’t matter who it was, we were stopping. We didn’t discuss it. We were slowing down and stopping before the truck even stopped moving. We were going to do whatever we could.”— Zachary Heskin
Levy said they receive basic first-aid training through Great River Energy on a yearly basis, which helped them assess the situation and administer the help that was needed.
When they left the scene, Heskin said he called Great River Energy’s Safety Training Specialist David Link and told him he wanted to look at the company’s process for replacing truck tires because, “I didn’t want that happening to us.” This process is currently being reviewed.
Because of their heroic efforts and going above and beyond in an emergency, Levy and Heskin were recognized with the Good Neighbor Program’s Award of Merit. Jonathan Geiger, Great River Energy’s leader of power system protection, presented the award during a celebration for Field Services Appreciation Day.
“I am grateful Zac and Lonnie were in the right place at the right time that day,” Geiger said. “We encourage employees to make use of their skills for the good of the general public and this is a terrific example of that.”
The Good Neighbor Program is a volunteer community service program. It recognizes those individuals who offer a helping hand in the communities we serve.