Two IBEW 1837 Members at CMP Receive Lifesaving Awards After Daring Rescue

September 29, 2016 - Two IBEW 1837 members working at Central Maine Power have received the highest commendation offered by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers after rescuing a man trapped inside a burning pickup truck after a crash.

It was an ordinary Thursday afternoon this past June that quickly turned extraordinary when CMP Lineworkers Andrew Grant and Paul Reynolds came upon a car/pole accident in Bridgton, Maine.

"We saw the truck was on its driver's side and was on fire," Brother Reynolds said. "There were secondaries (power lines) down there barking and arcing. (Then) we realized there was no one out of the vehicle yet!"

After Reynolds struggled at first to break the window with a gloved hand, Grant grabbed a set of pliers to smash it and pulled the man out before the truck was fully engulfed in flames.

"We were at the right place at the right time," Reynolds added.

As paramedics tended to the accident victim, Reynolds and Grant tended to the downed power lines to make the scene safe.

"We appreciate the acknowledgement but don't feel like any heroes," Brother Grant said.

Of course, their Brothers and Sisters in IBEW Local 1837 disagreed and contacted the International Union to request the well-deserved recognition. Andrew Grant and Paul Reynolds received Lifesaver Award plaques, pins and letters of appreciation at a union executive board meeting in August. (You can watch a video of the award presentation and hear them tell the story if you click here.)

A statement by the Bridgton Police Department on their Facebook page said "If not for their bravery and quick thinking, this story could have had a much different headline."

"It could've been any one of our family members in that vehicle," IBEW 1837 Business Managers Dick Rogers said. "They were just there to help."