(Pictured above, Brian Boltz, Carlos Lara and Tony Liston at OPPD’s Omaha Center. Photo by Joe Comstock)
Traveling multiple thousands of miles across the service territory in performance of their duties, OPPD crews are known to encounter all manner of incidents. At times, their proximity and professionalism combine to make a huge difference in people’s lives.
On July 30, a line crew from OPPD’s Omaha Service Center did just that. They came up on a multi-vehicle accident on Highway 75, near Chandler Road in northeast Sarpy County.
“We saw smoke on the side of the road,” said Carlos Lara, the crew leader on the scene. “As we stopped to investigate, one of our guys was carrying a little kid.”
Brian Boltz, an apprentice who has been with OPPD for nine months, had the young boy in his arms.
“My training just kind of kicked in,” said Boltz, referring to his three years serving in the U.S. Air Force as a firefighter.
Two young boys, around the ages of 7 and 10, were passengers in a small SUV. It appeared the car had clipped the back of a merging semi-truck, traveling at highway speed. The SUV was then struck from the rear by a minivan.
The boys were shaken but unhurt. Boltz helped move them to a nearby stopped vehicle for safety and comfort while they all waited for first responders.
The driver of the SUV was disoriented, and was treated by a nurse who also stopped to assist. The occupants of the semi and the minivan were unhurt.
Once fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel arrived, Boltz helped direct traffic to assist their response. He also helped the SUV’s driver onto the gurney.
Upon learning of the crew’s response actions, Vice President of Energy Delivery Troy Via expressed his appreciation.
“I am super impressed to hear how you managed a very dangerous situation. Way to represent OPPD while showing your passion to serve and care for the community in which we all live.”
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