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Orlando Utilities Quick Response Saves Life

Orlando Utilities Quick Response Saves Life

 

Quick Response, Excellent Training Saved a Man's Life at Stanton Energy Center

by Tim Trudell, Senior Media Relations Coordinator OUC

For weeks now, employees at the Stanton Energy Center (SEC) have been working 12-hour shifts, seven days a week to finish up maintenance on Unit 2 as part of a planned outage. The work is all-consuming and at this point in the outage, and the workforce as swelled to easily double the usual amount thanks to all of the contractors on the job. 

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Left to Right – Randy Hanna, Rodney Dowdy, Steven Tauscher, Luis Muniz, Alex Maldonado, Joe Lewis

 On Sunday, October 16 it was just before 4:30 p.m., towards the end of the shift when suddenly the emergency alarm sounded – and everybody immediately dropped what they were doing. A 47-year-old man, went back to his company’s narrow trailer next to Unit 2’s electrostatic precipitator and suddenly fell to the floor. “He had no pulse when I got there, so I immediately began CPR,” explained Alex Maldonado in a way that makes your neck hair stand up on the end. “I could see these big, blue eyes and there was nothing there, that’s when the great training that OUC gives us kicked in,” he added. Two minutes later fellow emergency response team (ERT) member Steven Tauscher would take over as Heath White ran to grab the nearest automated external defibrillator (AED) on site. 

By this time Rodney Dowdy was doing the CPR. “You are talking about adrenaline flowing and the sheer physical exertion necessary to do this, so each minute may seem like an eternity,” said Joe Lewis, the safety officer on duty.  As 911 was called and the closest paramedics – several miles and two security gates away - were summoned, Luis Muniz would start the AED administering the electric pulses that would save the victim’s life. “By the time the EMT’s arrived he was breathing on his own, he wasn’t conscious, but we knew he was alive,” Muniz said. “It was definitely a relief. You know I joined OUC’s ERT because I had small kids, and that was about 18 years ago. Today, I’ve been a part of several life-saving rescues including the 2008 incident in which an AED saved the life of Tim Westerman,”Dowdy said. “You know you go home after a day like that and you know it’s something you will never forget,” Maldonado added. 

The company, the victim works for hosted a lunch for the safety team members a few days later. The contractor's employees expressed their gratitude and then got a phone call. It was from the victim’s family. He was alert and although unable to talk due to the machines he was hooked up to, was expected to make a full recovery. There were few dry eyes when the news was shared. “I’ve received numerous texts or remarks from my co-workers who tell me they really appreciate what we do, and they actually feel safer doing their job,” Tauscher said.

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 Left to Right – Steven Tauscher, Luis Muniz, Rodney Dowdy, Alex Maldonado

 “We are so proud of these guys and I’m thankful our company puts in the time and the money to ensure they know what they are doing,” Safety Coordinator Randy Hanna said. With the exception of Lewis and Hanna everybody else listed here and all of the 71 ERT members at SEC are mechanics, engineers or technicians. But they dedicate time to train yearly for a wide-variety of problems ranging from confined space rescues, chemical spills, fires to high-elevation extrications. “Still when you have the real thing, it’s not a mannequin, it’s a living human being and it’s now our job to keep them alive,” Lewis said.

 

 


Congratulations to the OUC Team! This is actually their second life saved at Stanton.  

 

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