Customer Stories
April 22, 2024

Always Alert: Flint Energies’ Lineworkers Help Neighbors in Need

A tragedy in Musella, Georgia was safely avoided thanks to the quick actions of a crew of well-prepared lineworkers from the local electric co-op. Flint Energies serves an area covering 17 central Georgia counties, giving their lineworkers plenty of experience with the hazards of the open road. When one crew was on their way back home during an average August commute, their trip rapidly developed into an unexpected rescue operation. It started when the crew encountered a stalled SUV emitting smoke in the middle of the road. They pulled over, donned their hard hats and vests, and sprang into action, quickly discovering a more dire situation—a second vehicle had veered off the road into a nearby ravine.

The Flint crew, minus Chris Callier and Toby Clark. Photo courtesy of Georgia EMC

Nick Pandolfi, Line Superintendent, went into the ravine to assist and found himself face-to-face with a local teacher he recognized from the small, interconnected community they both called home. “She was very relieved to see a normal face that she recognized.” Pandolfi shared. “We helped make her as comfortable as possible just by being there with her and letting her know that everything was okay.”

While Nick steadfastly remained by her side below, the rest of his crew leaped into well-rehearsed action above. The seamlessness of the operation was no coincidence, with consistent practice and a culture of safety ingrained into the co-op’s emergency preparedness training. “It was like clockwork.”, Pandolfi said. “Protecting the public and our crews is a big part of what we do every day, so it was second nature.” The rest of the crew, Jeffrey Mensching, Juston Martin, Todd Wainwright, Aaron McDonald, Justin Johnson, Brennon Tyson, Toby Clark, and Chris Callier, jumped right into flagging and directing traffic to keep the scene as clear as possible.

Thankfully, the willingness to serve isn’t just limited to emergencies. Whether it’s staying late to ensure a family’s power is back on or responding to a weekend storm, lineworkers’ sense of duty and compassion shines through no matter the time or place. It’s a daily commitment to the community and to each other, often crossing co-op boundaries to support wherever the need arises. “It’s a very unique brotherhood,” Pandolfi explains, speaking to the deep sense of camaraderie that spans across different cooperatives creating an extended family dedicated to service and support. “People in this industry believe in taking care of each other and going the extra mile.”

The Flint Energies crew was formally recognized for their bravery when they were honored with the 2023 Lifesaving Award from Georgia EMC. “It was a huge honor to be recognized.” Pandolfi said. “We did what we felt was the right thing to do. We didn’t expect to receive any accolades from it.” This is the essence of the cooperative spirit—a selfless dedication to the well-being of others without expectation of reward. The award, while not the motive for their actions, underscores the significant impact these lineworkers have on the safety and fabric of their communities and represents their unwavering commitment to going above and beyond.

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