Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Employees ensure safety at accident scene

While on their way to work, two of our employees – John Feider, senior operations supervisor, and Erich Wuestenhagen, senior projects supervisor – worked together to secure the scene of a dangerous accident and assure the safety of people caught up in the event.

At approximately 7 a.m., June 28, a truck hauling a poured concrete bridge span more than 100 feet long cut a corner too close turning south onto Hwy. 100 in Greenfield, Wis., off of the exit ramp from eastbound I-94, snapping a power pole and causing energized wires to sag perilously close to the rush hour traffic on the busy thoroughfare below.

Erich Wuestenhagen (left) and John Feider.
Feider witnessed the accident and jumped immediately into action to keep people away from the live power lines. He safely parked his car, called 911, donned his vest and hard hat, and started directing traffic. “I stopped as many people as I could,” said Feider, an 11-year employee with the company.

When a semi-truck contacted the energized wires, Feider ordered the driver to stay in the truck until the lines could be de-energized. He also stopped a county bus that was attempting to drive underneath the wires.

About this time, Wuestenhagen exited onto Hwy. 100 from the east, saw Feider trying to manage the situation, safely parked his car, ran up to Feider and asked what he could do to help. “The first thing I asked was ‘are we safe?’,” said Wuestenhagen. Together, they identified the hazards to themselves and to the public and formulated a plan to make the situation as safe as possible.

“Our biggest concerns were our own safety and how do we keep everyone else safe,” said Wuestenhagen, who’s been with the company approximately seven years. Feider started directing traffic going from south to north and Wuestenhagen took the opposite lane of traffic.

About that time, the energized lines arced three times between the top of the semi and its front left tire. The arcing, smoke and small fire scared the people in the bus. They panicked and started rushing to get off of the bus. Unable to stop them, Feider and Wuestenhagen guided them to a safe place away from the traffic and the downed lines.

Police and sheriff’s deputies arrived to take charge after approximately 10 minutes. Feider explained what had happened, and he and Wuestenhagen departed the scene.

Brian Dobberke, director of customer field operations: “John and Erich did themselves and the company proud today. Their prompt and decisive actions likely prevented some people from being injured or killed. It was an absolutely outstanding response to a dangerous situation.”

1 comment:

Unknown said...

what a nice guys..i salute you feider and Wuestenhagen