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Sawnee EMC workers recognized for saving lives
Sawnee EMC employees, from left, Greg Estes, Jeremy Bearden, Jason Pitts, Destin McCormick and Avery Tinsley were recently honored for their life-saving efforts. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

CUMMING — Two line crews at Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation were recently recognized by a statewide association for their heroic actions while on the job.

Jeremy Bearden, Greg Estes, Destin McCormick, Jason Pitts and Avery Tinsley each received a Life Saving Award during the Georgia EMC’s recent annual meeting.

They were among 11 employees from six EMCs to be recognized the with award, which recognizes those “whose quick thinking and actions are instrumental in safeguarding others from dangerous or potentially deadly situations.”

Crew members responded to a late night electrical outage involving a vehicle that struck and broke a utility pole, according to a Sawnee EMC news release.

When they arrived, local law enforcement said they thought the incident may have been a hit and run because the driver appeared to have left. No one had been found in the area.

Once the emergency personnel left, the crew — McCormick, Pitts and Tinsley — turned off their trucks and began repairing the broken pole.

“We heard noises coming from the woods and had no idea what it was, since dogs had already searched the area for the driver,” Pitts said in a statement.

Upon investigating the noise, they found a man in the densely wooded area about 50 feet away. Tinsley called authorities, asking them to come back.

The man apparently had a head injury and a broken leg, according to the Sawnee news release. Emergency personnel said he would not have survived the night had he not been found.

“I don’t consider myself a hero,” said Pitts of the award. “I just happened to be there at the right time.”

Another crew who may have been there at the right time included Estes and Bearden, who were driving along Aaron Sosebee Road to a job site when they saw an elderly women lying on the ground. Realizing something wasn’t right, the men turned around to investigate.

They discovered the 86-year-old women had fallen while working in her yard and broken her leg and hip.

“She asked us to call her daughter, who lived next door,” Estes said.

The woman’s daughter summoned an ambulance, and the crew waited with the two women until help arrived.