Matt Cooper (center) received the Baldwin EMC / Touchstone Energy Power and Hope award for performing the Heimlich maneuver on coworker Christin McKenzie (right). Baldwin EMC Chief Executive Officer Karen Moore (left) presented the award on December 11.
Baldwin EMC lineman apprentice Matthew Cooper is being called a hero thanks to a quick-thinking response that saved the life of a coworker.
This past September, Baldwin EMC employee Christin McKenzie was eating lunch when she began to choke on a piece of chicken. “I struggled for what seemed to be about two minutes trying to swallow several times, but…it was lodged and wasn’t moving,” McKenzie said. She signaled to nearby coworkers that she needed help. Among them was Cooper, who began performing the Heimlich maneuver. “He had to do three large compressions and it finally came out,” McKenzie recalls. “I didn’t have all my wits together, but I remember hugging him and telling him ‘thank you,’” she said.
In recognition of this heroic deed, Cooper was presented the Baldwin EMC / Touchstone Energy Power and Hope award on December 11. The award recognizes co-op employees for exceptional actions that provide power and hope within the cooperative network or the communities in which the employees serve.
Baldwin EMC Chief Executive Officer Karen Moore says Cooper’s actions are the result of “the right training in the right hands at the right place and time.”
“We invest in a rigorous safety training program for our employees, including first aid and CPR classes,” Moore says. “That training paid off in the best possible way thanks to Matt’s heroic actions.”