Plant operators Preston Weisenburger and Jeremy Schmaltz were traveling to Great River Energy’s Spiritwood Station power plant at 4:30 a.m. on April 18 when they saw a semi had rolled into the ditch on North Dakota Highway 52.
They were the first on the scene and responded quickly by calling 911.
While Weisenburger was on the phone with the dispatcher, Schmaltz assessed the situation and found a non-responsive driver in the cab.
Weisenburger immediately used his Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training provided by Great River Energy to try to identify if the contents of the truck were hazardous.
“I began looking for a UN number (a four-digit number that identifies hazardous materials and articles) to determine what was in the large stainless-steel tanker,” Weisenburger said.
During this time, the driver regained consciousness. Weisenburger and Schmaltz helped remove him from the truck, keeping him comfortable until first responders arrived.
“The first responder and first aid training from Great River Energy helped in this situation,” Weisenburger said. “We knew to immediately call 911 to get help coming, and we also called and updated the 911 dispatcher when the driver became conscious and we determined it wasn’t a hazardous chemical he was carrying.”
Both men earned the Great River Energy Good Neighbor Program’s Award of Merit because of their actions. The Good Neighbor Program is a volunteer community service program. It recognizes those individuals who offer a helping hand in the communities we serve.
Great River Energy employees are encouraged to call 911, use first aid and CPR to sustain life and minimize injury, use cellphones or two-way radios to call for services, remain at the emergency scene and report any questionable activities to the proper authorities.