Co-op Lineworkers Receive Life Saver Award
“I was really lucky. If they hadn’t been there at that exact moment, my story could have had a different ending,” says Renville County Sheriff’s Deputy Ann Millerbernd.
Millerbernd considers two North Central Electric Cooperative lineworkers, Randy McLean and Talon Thompson, her “heroes” after the pair came to her aid last October.
While attempting to secure a load in her pickup, Millerbernd’s arm became stuck. Feeling pressure in her arm and tingling fingers, she began to worry. Her brachial artery was restricted, as her arm had been inadvertently placed into a tourniquet.
The Sherwood woman estimates she struggled to free herself for 10 minutes.
“I started feeling a sense of doom and was getting dizzy,” Millerbernd says, who soon had no feeling from her shoulder to her fingertips.
“I was pretty desperate, and I tried yelling as loud and long as I could,” she says.
McLean and Thompson had just stopped at North Central Electric Cooperative’s service center in Mohall to have lunch. After investigating the noise of what they thought was a cat, the lineworkers spotted Millerbernd nearby and quickly released her from harm.
“We ran over to her and found her basically hanging from her truck,” McLean says. “It was crazy. She was really hung up.”
With their safety training as both lineworkers and volunteer firefighters, McLean and Thompson offered to call an ambulance, before ensuring Millerbernd was alright. The men finished securing the load and sent Millerbernd safely on her way.
“Our employees consistently receive safety training, as safety is a top priority for the cooperative. They are trained to prioritize safety in their work and respond in emergency situations,” says Jon Beyer, North Central Electric Cooperative general manager. “Randy and Talon are true examples of the great employees that work at the cooperative, and we are proud of their quick response to help Deputy Millerbernd.”
For their actions, McLean and Thompson were presented the Life Saver Award by the N.D. Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives Jan. 13 in Bismarck. The Life Saver Award recognizes heroic actions that contribute to lifesaving efforts of another person.
Millerbernd also attended the ceremony to share her gratitude, and previously visited the cooperative to thank the lineworkers who saved her life.
“I did what cops do: I bought donuts!” she laughs. “I truly believe Randy and Talon saved my life.”