Fall River’s Derek Hanks Receives NWPPA’s 2023 Safety Heroism Award

Fall River’s Derek Hanks Receives NWPPA’s 2023 Safety Heroism Award

2023 Safety Heroism Award recipient Derek Hanks.

(April 7) Yesterday, Fall River Electric Cooperative Operations Journeyman Lineman Derek Hanks received the NWPPA Safety Heroism Award at NWPPA’s 2023 Engineering & Operations Conference on April 6 in Reno, Nevada.

On his way to work on Nov. 1, 2022, Hanks passed an accident that involved a car that struck a moose while it attempted to cross the highway. After striking the moose, the car had left the highway on the righthand side of the road, struck a power pole, and rolled, trapping the driver inside. Police were on the scene and emergency personnel were at the vehicle attempting to help the driver; however, the power pole and energized power line were near the vehicle. Hanks, with the help of fellow linemen Braidan Martindale and Trevor Ostberg, immediately moved emergency personnel away from the vehicle. They stayed onsite to keep police and emergency responders away until a crew from Rocky Mountain Power arrived to de-energize the line.

“They most certainly saved lives as someone would likely have come in contact with that line or the energy transmitted from it,” said Fall River Marketing/Public Relations Manager Ted Austin. “They protected the lives of police and emergency personnel even though the power line and pole were not the property of Fall River Electric Cooperative.”

The Safety Heroism Award recognizes an NWPPA member utility employee or team that displayed an act of unselfish and voluntary assistance in a situation where life, significant injury, or significant property loss would have been incurred were it not for the efforts of the individual or team. The NWPPA E&O Safety Subcommittee selects the winner of the annual Safety Heroism Award with concurrence from the NWPPA E&O Policy Committee.

About NWPPA: NWPPA is an international association representing and serving more than 150 customer-owned, locally controlled utilities in the Western U.S. and Canada. The association also serves over 300 associate members across the U.S. and Canada who are allied with the electric utility industry. For more information, visit www.nwppa.org or follow @NWPPAssoc on our social channels.


Brenda Dunn at brenda@nwppa.org, (360) 816-1453


Download a pdf of the release here