Everyday Delaware Electric Cooperative linemen work in dangerous conditions. Crews operate high voltage equipment and repair energized power lines in high-stress situations. Lineman Sheron Sturgis credits his Co-op training and his time serving in the Navy for preparing him to help save the life of a trapped motorist in October.
On October 14, Sturgis had just returned home from visiting his mother when he heard a loud bang — a semi had collided with a car down the street from his house near Georgetown. Wanting to help, Sturgis went outside and began walking toward the accident. As he got closer to the crash, he noticed smoke coming from the engine block of the car and realized the driver was unconscious and trapped.
As he started running toward the trapped driver, several other bystanders began spraying the flames with fire extinguishers. The doors on the car were jammed and couldn’t be opened. As the fire quickly spread, Sturgis used a spent fire extinguisher to knock out the back and a side window to let some of the smoke out. He then quickly knocked out the driver’s side window. With the help of another good Samaritan, he pulled the driver out of the car.
Sturgis’s heroic actions came just in time – he said the entire car burst into flames 30 seconds after the driver was rescued.
“I’m really glad we were able to get him out,” said Sturgis. “We were in the right place at the right time, and we did what we had to do to help the driver out.”
Firefighters and paramedics arrived on the scene a few minutes after the rescue and were able to extinguish the fire and provide the injured driver with treatment. The driver survived and Sturgis suffered just a few small cuts.
According to Co-op President and CEO Bill Andrew, “I tell people all the time that DEC has the best employees. They care about each other and care about the communities they serve. I’m extremely proud of Sheron and the bravery he showed in pulling the driver from the burning car. He’s an exceptional employee and a man is alive today because of Sheron’s selfless actions.”
After rescuing the trapped driver, Sturgis headed to the Co-op’s headquarters in Greenwood for his shift to keep the lights on for members. Despite his noble actions, Sturgis is humble and said he’s just glad the driver survived.
“I did what anyone would do in that situation, or at least I pray that’s what anyone else would do. It could have been so much worse, and we worked as a team to save the driver,” said Sturgis.