Award honors employee’s courage - Great River Energy

Award honors employee’s courage

Great River Energy program recognizes team members who step up and apply their training when they see people in need

A guiding principle among electric cooperatives is “concern for community.” Great River Energy encourages its employees to act as a second set of eyes and ears in their community and to render assistance when needed. The cooperative’s Good Neighbor program honors employees who exemplify concern for others by going out of their way to lend a helping hand, oftentimes during an emergency, while on the job or in their personal lives.

Great River Energy’s Jay Driver, infrared and distribution line services lead, did just that the morning of Valentine’s Day when he was traveling north on Highway 169 in Elk River and a two-car accident happened in front of him.

Great River Energy employee Jay Driver receives the Good Neighbor program’s highest honor, the Award of Excellence, from Vice President and Chief Transmission Officer Priti Patel.

An SUV hit a four-door sedan and both vehicles ended up in the center median. Driver used his Great River Energy vehicle to partially block the northbound fast lane (with his warning lights on) to try to keep other vehicles from getting involved.

Driver immediately started toward the car where he saw no movement. As he approached, the driver got out and stated her child was in the back seat, which is where Driver found a young boy slumped over and unresponsive. He was performing a sternum rub for about one minute when an Elk River police officer and an Anoka County sheriff deputy arrived on the scene.

The deputy and Driver performed life-saving measures on the boy, including chest compressions and breaths with a device provided by the police officer, until emergency medical technicians arrived. CPR was still being performed when Driver was dismissed from the scene. Sadly, he later learned the boy did not survive his injuries.

Driver’s quick and heroic efforts were recognized in May when Great River Energy Vice President and Chief Transmission Officer Priti Patel presented him with the Good Neighbor program’s highest honor: the Award of Excellence. This award is presented to employees who have acted on the rare opportunity to use their skills to save a life, minimize serious injury or change the course of an extremely serious situation.

“Great River Energy is proud of everything you did that day,” Patel said. “You did everything right. Thank you for being a good neighbor in our communities.”

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