Idaho Power foreman honored for life-saving effort
For the fourth time in just over one year, an Idaho Power employee has saved a life using CPR.
Idaho Power Line Crew Foreman Vance Poe received the “Extra-Mile Safety Award” from company leaders and the “Heartsaver Hero Award” from the American Heart Association on Tuesday at Idaho Power’s Mountain Home office.
Employees have responded to four heart-related emergencies since last August, saving those lives using CPR.
Poe was at an event after hours on Sept. 6th and was among a crowd of spectators. Forty-nine-year-old Doug Kriebs collapsed to the nearby and Poe heard screams. Arrhythmia had stopped Kriebs’ heart but, by using CPR, Poe kept oxygen and blood flow going until paramedics arrived.
“I don’t remember much about responding or deciding what to do, I just became kind of a machine and did what I needed to,” Poe said. “Time stood still. I don’t know how long I did CPR. I just know I was really winded when the ambulance got there.”
Kriebs, who is married and has a 12-year daughter and 9-year-old son, will be forever grateful. “I can’t thank him enough. I called him when I got home from the hospital to tell him thanks. I haven’t met him in person, so I look forward to seeing him on Tuesday, he said.
Idaho Power linemen are required to take CPR training annually as part of their line safety and emergency response/rescue training. All employees are offered the classes, and many take it more than once. “Employees live in communities throughout our service area and can be great resources this way,” said Scott Taylor, Idaho Power Safety Professional and CPR Instructor. “In particular the line crews can be important first-responders in remote areas.”
Other “saves” in the past year include:
• Safety Professional Jason Qualls and a high school athlete in American Falls, Aug. 13, 2011;
• Ten IT and HR employees and a fellow employee at a downtown Boise office, Dec. 16, 2011;
• Five linemen in Hagerman and a local resident, June 5, 2012;
• Vance Poe and spectator Doug Kriebs on Sept. 6, 2012. Poe, whose mother was an EMT, also saved a drowning boy in McCall, Idaho, in 2001.
(photo of Poe and Kriebs family courtesy of Idaho Power)