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News Safety & Reliability August 23, 2023

PUD Linemen Receive General Manager’s Life Saving Award

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PUD Linemen Receive General Manager’s Life Saving Award

Four Snohomish County PUD Linemen received the General Manager’s Life Saving Award during the PUD’s August 22 Commission Meeting for quick actions that likely saved lives and property threatened by a house fire.

Team PUD members Justin Atkinson, Entry Helper-2, Kellan Bulman, Journeyman Lineman, Tre Harris, Journeyman Lineman, and Anthony Haugstad, Apprentice Lineman-5, were working in the Dundee neighborhood in Brier, WA., on June 21 when they smelled smoke nearby. When Harris and Atkinson approached the home next door, they noticed black smoke coming from the back of the house.

Harris quickly called 911 while Atkinson ran to the house and pounded on the door. The sound woke an elderly man from his nap in time for he and his wife, who uses a walker, to safely exit the house.

“I am proud of how these four linemen didn’t hesitate and jumped into action to take steps to save lives and protect property,” said CEO/General Manager John Haarlow. “Their actions reflect the PUD’s commitment to safety as our number one value and our dedication to always serving our community.”

According to South County Fire, in addition to likely saving a life, the crew’s early reporting of the fire also limited property damage. It allowed firefighters to keep the fire contained to a small area of the garage and kept flames out of the living area of the home.

In a ceremony at Brier City Hall in July, Assistant Fire Chief Bob Eastman commended the four men and awarded them each a letter for their personnel file and the chief’s challenge coin. “You each played a key role in preventing harm and limiting property damage at this incident. We applaud your outstanding efforts that made a positive difference in this emergency,” he said.

Atkinson, Bulman, Harris and Haugstad will also be recognized as lifesavers at the Governor’s Safety Conference this September in Spokane.