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SSEMC employees receive Life Saving Award

Snapping Shoals EMC employees (l-r) Eddie Sweat, Donny Hopkins, Doug Jarrett, Bonnie Ellington and Penny Batchelor recently received a Life Saving Award from Georgia EMC for administering life-saving measures to a co-worker experiencing a heart attack. - Special photo

Snapping Shoals EMC employees (l-r) Eddie Sweat, Donny Hopkins, Doug Jarrett, Bonnie Ellington and Penny Batchelor recently received a Life Saving Award from Georgia EMC for administering life-saving measures to a co-worker experiencing a heart attack. - Special photo

COVINGTON -- Five Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation employees were recently recognized for saving a co-worker's life. They were able to administer life-saving measures to a man who was suffering a heart attack.

Employees Bonnie Ellington, Donny Hopkins, Eddie Sweat, Penny Batchelor and Doug Jarrett received a Life Saving Award from Georgia Electric Membership Corporation during the statewide cooperative association's annual meeting in Savannah on Nov. 13.

According to Public Affairs Director Leigh-Anne Burgess, Ellington, a customer information systems specialist, exited the company's shower facility and headed for her desk. She heard an unusual noise, realized it was coming from the on-site medical clinic and found a co-worker on the floor with a blood pressure cuff on his arm. He had apparently gone to the clinic to take his own blood pressure and collapsed.

"I stepped out into the hall to yell for help, but it was early morning, so no one was around," Ellington recalled. "I ran to our dispatch department and asked for help. Donny, Penny and Eddie all came back with me to the clinic."

Burgess said Ellington then went into the break room located across the hall from the clinic and dialed 911.

"She stayed on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, answering questions about the patient's age and condition and receiving instructions, while Hopkins, Sweat, Batchelor and Jarrett administered CPR and a shock with an automated external defibrillator," Burgess stated in a printed press release.

Ellington later said the 911 dispatcher was both helpful and patient while she worked to convey as much information as possible to her co-workers.

"The employee who suffered the heart attack was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital and made a full recovery," Burgess said.

Ellington said she is glad she found him when she did.

"It was an awful thing to have happen, but it had a happy ending," she said, adding that she is honored at receiving the award, but doesn't believe she did anything out of the ordinary.

"I just did what I was supposed to do. My co-worker is back at work, and it's good to see him in the halls every now and then," she said.

The five SSEMC employees were among eight from four EMCs to be recognized with the Life Saving Award during the state meeting. The Life Saving Award was established to recognize EMC employees whose quick thinking and actions are instrumental in safeguarding others from dangerous or potentially deadly situations.