The Lifesaving Work of a Lineworker

It was a warm, humid July morning, National Lineworker Appreciation Day in fact, when Eric Golbranson, a Line Crew Leader out of Quincy, MA, was preparing to leave one jobsite for his next. Little did he know at the time that delaying his departure by a few minutes to cool off his bucket truck would be a fateful action.

As Eric made his way along Hancock Street nearing Southern Artery alongside the Vietnam War Memorial, something peculiar caught his eye. There was a woman racing towards the memorial fountain, so swiftly her hat flew from her head. She then flung the diaper bag she was carrying and Eric thought to himself “geez, is this woman going to jump into the fountain?”. He glanced further along her path and the reason for her haste became frighteningly clear.

Just past the fountain, a toddler was about to step into the street as an eighteen-wheeler barreled in that very direction. In what he described as a “knee jerk reaction”, Eric swung his truck to block the intersection and pulled the emergency brake. With his truck barely at a standstill, he had already hit the ground running to save the child. Eric snatched up the toddler so quickly that the Crocs the little one was wearing fell from his tiny feet. When the mother finally reached them, she fought through tears to express her heartfelt gratitude.

Eric, who is accustomed to driving a large vehicle, understood the challenges with limited visibility and stopping distance. The truck driver later confirmed this notion when he revealed that he did not see the child. “If faced with this same situation, I think anyone would have done it. I just think if I had not waited to cool the truck, I would not have been there at that time,” Eric said.

Surely fate played a part that day, but it was Eric’s hyper-awareness, quick-thinking and split-second reaction that saved a life. Eric went from serving our country to serving our customers for the past 35 years so this is one of countless reasons why he is so deserving of thanks and appreciation – Lineworker Appreciation Day and every day.

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