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August Retirements

AEP Ohio

David Buzza, Home Worksite-Ohio, retired August 25 after 10 years of service.

Alan Conner, Newark Service Building, retired August 4 after 36 years of service.

Michael Ferraro, 850 Tech Center, retired August 1 after 21 years of service.

Kevin Kuehne, 700 Building Gahanna, retired August 1 after 11 years of service.

Deborah Mathew, Columbus Southeast Service Center, retired August 1 after 41 years of service.

Ted Miller, Marietta Service Center, retired August 2 after 34 years of service.

Thomas Perry, Lucasville Service Center, retired August 1 after 36 years of service.

Michael Poole, Canton General Service Center, retired August 1 after 40 years of service.

Gary Rayburn, Athens Service Center, retired August 8 after 40 years of service.

Diane Shaffer, Canton Eastern Regional Office, retired August 1 after 39 years of service.

AEP River Transportation Division

Art Williams, River Transportation Division, retired August 1 after 25 years of service.

AEP Service Corporation

Barbara Bailey, Central Operations Center, retired August 1 after 42 years of service.

Guy Cerimele, AEP Headquarters, retired August 11 after 33 years of service.

David Hurban, AEP Headquarters, retired August 25 after 12 years of service.

Wayne Hurt, Roanoke Main Office, retired August 31 after 36 years of service.

Louis Matustik, AEP Headquarters, retired August 2 after 32 years of service.

Roy Middleton, AEP Headquarters, retired August 1 after 45 years of service.

Marguerite Mills, AEP Headquarters, retired August 11 after 39 years of service.

Jon Painter, Roanoke Main Office, retired August 1 after 40 years of service.

Norma Shelton, Roanoke Main Office, retired August 31 after 44 years of service.

John Skidmore, Milton Service Center, retired August 1 after 39 years of service.

Phillip Stickney, AEP Headquarters, retired August 2 after 15 years of service.

AEP Texas

Iris Porter, Bay City Service Center, retired August 10 after 28 years of service.

Appalachian Power Company

Richard Ash, Central Machine Shop, retired August 11 after 43 years of service.

John Bayes, North Charleston Service Center, retired August 1 after 40 years of service.

Randall Fields, Lebanon Service Center, retired August 1 after 39 years of service.

Gary Hester, Glade Spring Service Center, retired August 1 after 39 years of service.

Victoria Totten, Beckley Service Center, retired August 1 after 40 years of service.

Generation

Cindy Avant, Knox Lee Plant, retired August 20 after 29 years of service.

Danny Barker, Big Sandy Plant, retired August 1 after 44 years of service.

Terry Burkhard, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired August 23 after 38 years of service.

Judy Butcher, Rockport Plant, retired August 1 after 35 years of service.

David Depaulis, Mitchell Plant, retired August 1 after 29 years of service.

Lloyd Dopp, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired August 17 after 25 years of service.

Ivan Fleetwood, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired August 25 after 40 years of service.

David French, Winfield Hydro, retired August 4 after 42 years of service.

Ricky Hensley, Northeastern Station 3&4, retired August 30 after 28 years of service.

Van Lashbrook, Rockport Plant, retired August 1 after 34 years of service.

Stephen McFarland, Mitchell Plant, retired August 1 after 36 years of service.

Wayne Pifer, Cardinal Plant, retired August 1 after 34 years of service.

Indiana Michigan Power Company

Phillip George, One Summit Square, retired August 2 after 20 years of service.

Kentucky Power Company

Timmy Hall, Pikeville Service Center, retired August 1 after 41 years of service.

Southwestern Electric Power Company

Lucien Hall, Haughton Operations Center, retired August 25 after 33 years of service.

James Lyles, Shreveport Operations, retired August 25 after 38 years of service.

Gary Sanders, Texarkana Operations, retired August 25 after 37 years of service.

Roger Stewart, Dolet Hills Lignite Mine, retired August 21 after 23 years of service.

Ronald Tevebaugh, Longview Operations, retired August 11 after 35 years of service.

Transmission

Richard Gutman, AEP Transmission Headquarters, retired August 1 after 49 years of service.

Michael Kitchen, Robert E. Matthews Service Center, retired August 1 after 31 years of service.

Nick Akins, Local CEOs, Power Chords Band Together to Thrash Hunger

The heads of some of Columbus’ largest organizations will join forces Sept. 20 from 6-9 p.m. at Express Live! (405 Neil Ave., Columbus) to rock your world and feed the hungry in central Ohio:

  • Nick Akins, Chairman, President & CEO, American Electric Power;
  • George Barrett, Chairman & CEO, Cardinal Health;
  • Joe Hamrock, President & CEO, NiSource;
  • Tom Krouse, CEO, Donatos and;
  • Guest performer Matt Habash, President & CEO, Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

 

All proceeds from this annual benefit concert event go to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, whose mission is to end hunger one nourishing meal at a time while co-creating communities where everyone thrives. Tickets are $25 (includes hors d’oeuvres and drink ticket), and you can order tickets here. The advance ticket sale ends Sept. 17.

The Foodbank provides enough food for 155,000 meals a day, stabilizing families, connecting hungry neighbors with community services and energizing the community to address the root causes of hunger. Some 650 non-profit partners in 20 Ohio counties distribute nearly 70 million pounds of food to those in need each year. Mid-Ohio Foodbank is a United Way partner agency, and AEP supports the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and Operation Feed.

I&M Employees Paddle in United Way’s Cardboard Boat Race

The “Power Shark” circles its opponents during the United Way of Elkhart County’s ninth annual Cardboard Boat Race.

(Story by Schnee Garrett)

ELKHART, Ind. — Will it sink or will it float? That was the ultimate question for several Indiana Michigan Power employees who competed in the United Way of Elkhart County’s ninth annual Cardboard Boat Race. The race was at the LaSalle Bristol pond in Elkhart.

For weeks prior to the race,  the Elkhart Service Center line department and a group of Customer Design Engineers from the South Bend Service Center constructed their boats. The vessel from Elkhart was named the “Power Shark” and “The Indefatigable” represented South Bend.

This year, the United Way of Elkhart County had a record-breaking 52 boats enter the race. Teams competed in several heats with the winning cardboard boat advancing to the championship race. Several I&M employees came out to cheer on their co-workers in the water.

I&M’s first boat in the water was “The Indefatigable,” paddled by Myron Stutzman and Matt Boland. The pair, representing South Bend, completed a lap around the pond but came in second. A few heats later, it was Jared Stork and Nate Jacob’s turn to get into the water with the “Power Shark.” The boat held up in the water, but the Elkhart team came in second.

However, both teams had one more battle in the pond. All of the cardboard boats that didn’t win their heat and could still float were invited back into the water for one final race. The I&M teams were looking to not just win the heat, but for bragging rights as well. In the race towards the final green buoy, “The Indefatigable” beat the “Power Shark.”

Both barns plan to create a new boat and compete next year. The event is touted as the largest cardboard boat race in the Midwest and is one of the largest fundraisers for the United Way of Elkhart County. The money raised will go towards helping several community partners in the area including the Boys and Girls Club of Elkhart County and the American Red Cross.

Flint Creek Power Plant Recognized for Environmental Excellence

(Story by Peter Main)

Flint Creek Power Plant in Gentry, Ark., has been awarded Conservation Certification by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) in recognition of the plant’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

American Electric Power received the certification for its SWEPCO power plant’s habitat enhancement programs, including tallgrass prairie restoration, nesting boxes and other bird habitat improvement, and pollinator garden landscapes.

“The Flint Creek Power Plant is recognized as meeting the strict requirements of WHC Conservation Certification,” said Margaret O’Gorman, WHC president. “Companies achieving WHC Conservation Certification, like AEP SWEPCO, are environmental leaders, voluntarily managing their lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them.”

Flint Creek was designated as Certified Silver, signifying leadership among the over 700 WHC Conservation Certification programs. Programs are given a Certified, Silver Certified or Gold Certified designation. Flint Creek has held certification under the WHC’s Corporate Lands for Learning and Wildlife at Work programs since 2004 and 2002, respectively, and since 2016 when the two programs were combined into the Conservation Certification.

“We are extremely proud of the long-standing environmental stewardship efforts by our team at Flint Creek, as well as the community partnerships that have grown up around that stewardship,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer.

Flint Creek Plant Manager Carl Handley said, “We’re pleased that the Wildlife Habitat Council has again recognized our company and employees for their work to enhance the environment and provide great learning opportunities for the community. Retired Flint Creek chemist Terry Stanfill has continued to spearhead many of our efforts.”

Approximately 700 acres of the power plant’s 1,600 acres are designated as wildlife habitat. The site for many activities is Flint Creek’s 65-acre Eagle Watch Nature Trail, which includes a half-mile walking trail and two wildlife viewing pavilions. Built in 1999 on SWEPCO Lake, the power plant’s cooling reservoir, Eagle Watch is located on Hwy. 12 one mile east of Gentry. It is open to the public at no charge year-round.

Although wintering bald eagles are the main attraction at Eagle Watch, more than 180 bird species have been identified. Mammals in the area include foxes, deer and beaver. Reptiles and amphibians include various species of lizards, turtles, snakes, toads and frogs. The pavilions include plant and animal identification displays.

Akins Appears on CNBC’s ‘Mad Money’ With Jim Cramer

AEP CEO Nick Akins (right) responds to a question from stock analyst Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” program.

Nick Akins, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, appeared on CNBC’s “Mad Money with Jim Cramer” program August 16 and discussed AEP’s second-quarter financial results, the Wind Catcher renewable energy project and more with the show’s host, stock analyst Jim Cramer.

View the video.

Referring back to AEP’s second-quarter earnings report, Cramer noted that the company was on target with its 5-to-7 percent earnings growth projections following a strong second quarter.

“The investment plan our company has will continue to grow. We’re at a 5-to-7 percent growth rate, and this last quarter we extended the capital forecast to 2021 to really show the markets we were intent on that 5-to-7 percent growth rate,” Akins said. “The ability for us to invest in transmission, the ability to invest in the changing energy environment related to the way we provide our energy services is a very positive aspect of our business.”

Turning to the recently cancelled Wind Catcher renewable energy project, Akins told Cramer the company thought Wind Catcher had a number of benefits for the company and customers, but AEP has maintained its strong core business and is moving on to other projects.

“We felt like it was a great project, but from the outset we said our commissions have to approve these projects. It was a unique project, a large investment in western Oklahoma,” Akins said. “We were disappointed, but at the same time, we have a firm foundation for our company with the capital investments we can make regardless of Wind Catcher. Now we’ll focus on smaller investments of renewables to replace it. It’s just one of those aspects of our business. We’ll have projects, we’ll have opportunities, some will go, some won’t go, but it’s all built around a firm foundation and our ability to be selective on projects we can move forward.”

Cramer noted that AEP has been striving to reduce its carbon footprint over the last several years and he asked Akins if he was able to reconcile that effort with what happened with Wind Catcher.

“Wind Catcher was one of those projects where we were getting out ahead of our resource plans. We file individual resource plans in all 11 of the jurisdictions we serve and there is small capacity that you build — small wind farms and solar and so forth — that are in those plans,” Akins answered. “This was a unique opportunity to get out ahead in many of those aspects. That being said, the risk parameters around this project became such that we had to really quantify those risks. It was great for customers but we also wanted to make sure it was great for investors. So we go with the project, go through the approvals, the project doesn’t move forward but we still continue with our resource plans for smaller projects that will fill the gap.”

Switching to the economy, Cramer wanted to know where AEP is seeing the most growth.

“We have big markets in Texas and in the Midwest. In the states we serve in the south central U.S., along with the Midwest, the energy economy is certainly substantial,” Akins reported. “We’re growing higher than the GDP (growth domestic product) of the country. Our income growth continues to be there, job creation continues to be there. Residential, commercial and industrial load in particular continues to improve, so the fundamentals of the area of the country we serve are very positive.”

In today’s energy environment, Cramer wondered if anyone would take on the risk of building another nuclear plant.

“In today’s environment, where technology is going and where natural gas prices are, it’s a significant challenge to build a large, central station generation facility and take on that amount of risk,” Akins said. “Hats off to Southern (Company) for moving that process forward relative to nuclear but, at the same time, when we look at it from an investment thesis, we have the largest transmission system, multiple sets of projects, and projects that are emerging on the distribution side relative to distributed energy resources. The magnitude of the small projects add up to much less risk for investors, so when we look at the future in terms of investment, with distributed energy resources, with where technology is going, from a transmission standpoint, those are investments we can make that minimize risk not only to our customers but to our shareholders, as well.”

So how does the advent of electric vehicles factor into the whole energy equation?

“We see it as sales channel growth for the utility industry,” Akins said. “We announced today (August 16) that charging stations will be built around the Ohio area and that’s a major effort on our part to ensure that the infrastructure is there to support electric vehicles. Currently, we sell the electricity to electric vehicles but it’s also an avenue for transportation to make sure there is accessibility for everyone without having to go to a gas station, for example.”

Appalachian Power’s Byllesby Plant Inducted Into Hydro Hall of Fame

Accepting the Hall of Fame recognition in Charlotte for AEP and Appalachian Power were, from left, Henry Parker, James Thrasher and Rob Gallimore of hydro operations, with Marla Barners of HydroVision International.

(Story by John Shepelwich)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Appalachian Power’s Byllesby hydroelectric plant was inducted as part of the 23rd class of the Hydro Hall of Fame in late June during the keynote session of HydroVision International 2018.

The hall of fame recognizes extraordinary achievements internationally and has an emphasis on longevity. To be eligible, plants must have been in continuous operation for more than a century.

Since 1995, the award has recognized 48 legacy hydropower plants around the world.

Accepting the award for AEP and Appalachian in Charlotte were Rob Gallimore, James Thrasher and Henry Parker, all part of the company’s hydro management team.

The 21.6 megawatt (MW) Byllesby plant is located on New River in southwestern Virginia, about 60 miles from Roanoke. Completed in 1912, the plant was named for H.M. Byllesby, a Chicago investor who helped start Appalachian Power Company.

The plant has four generating units. When commissioned, it supplied some of the first electric power to the area with about 1,500 customers in its first year of operation.  Its sister plant, the Buck hydro plant, is located just downstream on New River and was also completed in 1912.

The Byllesby plant is awaiting PJM approval for newly-installed four megawatt energy storage battery system at the site that will provide regulation services to the PJM Interconnection. It is expected to be the first hybrid system of its kind.

The plant is currently undergoing construction work for the installation of some new dam gates.

Other inductees into the hall of fame this year were the 24.6 MW Blewett Falls plant in North Carolina, the 108.8 MW Narrows plant in North Carolina, the 66 MW Upper Bonnington Generating Station in Canada, and the 17.6 MW Miljacka plant in Croatia.

HydroVision international is the world’s largest conference and exhibition dedicated to global hydro, marine energy, dams and civil markets.

It draws about 3,000 attendees representing more than 50 countries.

AEP Named on New List of Best Places to Work for Women

AEP has been named on a new list of the best places to work for women.

Forbes’ inaugural look at the nation’s best employers for women includes 300 corporations, universities and organizations. The magazine came up with the ranking working with market research company Statista by anonymously surveying 40,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees.

Respondents were first asked to rate their organizations on criteria such as working conditions, diversity and how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others. These responses were reviewed for potential gender gaps. So if women, for example, rated an organization poorly on diversity, but men rated it highly, Statista would take that into account and adjust the company’s score accordingly. Statista then asked female respondents to rate their employers on factors such as parental leave, discrimination and pay equity. These respondents were also asked to nominate organizations in industries outside their own. The final list ranks the 300 employers that both received the most recommendations and boast the most gender diverse boards and executive ranks.

“Over the past five years, the work of all of our employees on our cultural transformation broadly with a focus on diversity and inclusion has led to us being named to this prestigious list of companies,” said Lana Hillebrand, executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “While we still have much work to do, being named on the list of best places to work for women validates that we are heading in the right direction as we continue our transformation to the utility company of the future.”

AEP ranked No. 193 overall and was third on the Forbes list in the Utilities category behind Sacramento Municipal Utility District (No. 146) and Consumers Energy (No. 151).

The No. 1 company on this list was Principal Financial Group, an investment management and insurance firm based in Des Moines, Iowa.

 

Obituaries

AEP Service Corporation

Miriam Boyer, 84, retired, AEP Headquarters, died July 8.

John Struyk, 91, retired, AEP Headquarters, died July 1.

AEP Texas

Jose Arredondo, 95, retired, Corpus Christi Office, died July 18.

Appalachian Power Company

David Brown, 70, Three Rivers Service Center, died July 23.

Bobby Hobbs, 82, retired, Clinch River Plant, died July 8.

Nell Noe, 92, retired, Clinch River Plant, died July 21.

Douglas Ratcliff, 71, Pulaski Service Center, died July 13.

Edward Sheets, 76, retired, Kanawha River Plant, died June 28.

Hobert Taylor, 96, retired, Lebanon Service Center, died July 12.

Columbus Southern Power Company

Marilyn Ashcraft, 88, retired, Coshocton Office Building, died July 10.

Melvin Bell, 79, retired, 700 Building-Gahanna, died July 11.

Merrell Carter, 80, retired, 850 Tech Center, died July 16.

Norman Helser, 87, retired, 850 Tech Center, died July 10.

Arthur Rhoades, 76, 850 Tech Center, died July 7.

Ruth Starr, 82, 850 Tech Center, died July 22.

Indiana Michigan Power Company

Richard McLemore, 82, retired, Cook Nuclear Plant, died July 4.

Bruce Radde, 65, Cook Nuclear Plant, died July 6.

Lois Riddle, 97, retired, One Summit Square, died July 19.

David Woerner, 69, Tanners Creek Plant, died July 15.

Ohio Power Company

Bernard Butcher, 95, retired, Southern Ohio Coal Company, died July 5.

Harold Elliott, 75, retired, Cardinal Plant, died July 11.

Anna Graves, 90, retired, Southern Ohio Coal Company, died July 12.

Walter Grover, 91, retired, Lancaster Office Building, died July 19.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Michael Bernart, 69, Tulsa Power Station, died July 12.

Oliver Moss, 86, retired, Tulsa General Office, died June 26.

Bobby Perry, 73, retired, Chickasha Office, died July 18.

Roberta Vaught, 84, retired, Tulsa General Office, died July 19.

Duane Woodson, 84, retired, Tulsa General Office, died June 29.

Southwestern Electric Power Company

Douglas Bonner, 99, retired, Shreveport General Office, died July 5.

William Lawrence, 42, Haughton Operations Center, died July 10.

Transmission

Dusty Pittman, 36, South Bend Service Center, died July 1.

July Retirements

AEP Ohio

Mark Burfield, Canton General Service Center, retired July 1 after 20 years of service.

Howard Ervin Jr., Pomeroy Service Building, retired July 7 after 34 years of service.

Craig Holmes, Marietta Service Center, retired July 14 after 33 years of service.

Dawn McHenry, Delaware Service Center, retired July 17 after 30 years of service.

Brian Morris, 850 Tech Center, retired July 6 after 27 years of service.

Jeffrey Prisner, Wheeling Service Building, retired July 14 after 38 years of service.

AEP Service Corporation

Jeffrey Brubaker, AEP Headquarters, retired July 7 after 36 years of service.

Kristi Giordano, John E. Dolan Lab, retired July 14 after 12 years of service.

Thomas Mitchell, AEP Headquarters, retired July 7 after 36 years of service.

David Moore, AEP Headquarters, retired July 10 after 37 years of service.

Mark Price, AEP Headquarters, retired July 7 after 15 years of service.

John Woellert Jr., AEP Headquarters, retired July 14 after 21 years of service.

Peggy Wright-Kneisel, AEP Headquarters, retired July 21 after 10 years of service.

AEP Texas

Nathan Hires Jr., Southwest Distribution System-San Angelo, retired July 4 after 12 years of service.

Rex McIntosh, Meter Services, retired July 28 after 35 years of service.

Larry Railsback, Vernon Office, retired July 1 after 32 years of service.

Appalachian Power Company

Kevin Gallatin, Rocky Mount Service Center, retired July 28 after 38 years of service.

Rebecca McAlister, Hurricane Call Center, retired July 14 after 26 years of service.

Teresa Topham, Hurricane Call Center, retired July 2 after 20 years of service.

Generation

Robert Bogard Jr., Mitchell Plant, retired July 28 after 37 years of service.

Randall Broome, Wilkes Plant, retired July 26 after 29 years of service.

Lloyd Burton Jr., Cook Nuclear Plant, retired July 20 after 10 years of service.

Grafton Buzzard, Amos Plant, retired July 1 after 29 years of service.

Jerald Habursky, Mitchell Plant, retired July 1 after 36 years of service.

Philip Hudnall, Amos Plant, retired July 21 after 27 years of service.

Larry Longenette, Rockport Plant, retired July 10 after 39 years of service.

Debra Poupard, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired July 13 after 19 years of service.

John Powell, Conesville Plant, retired July 1 after 38 years of service.

Erich Skelley, Conesville Plant, retired July 24 after 41 years of service.

John Stover, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired July 26 after 36 years of service.

Michael Sullivan, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired July 13 after 10 years of service.

Carl Warner, Cook Nuclear Plant, retired July 19 after 38 years of service.

Indiana Michigan Power Company

Gary Amick, Baer Field Service Center, retired July 5 after 38 years of service.

Robert Bournique, One Summit Square, retired July 28 after 32 years of service.

Neil Conlon, Cook Material Center, retired July 13 after 22 years of service.

Larry Evans, Buchanan Service Center, retired July 17 after 45 years of service.

Ronald Kable, One Summit Square, retired July 11 after 10 years of service.

Paul Zoschke, Buchanan Service Center, retired July 11 after 32 years of service.

Public Service Company of Oklahoma

Kimberly King, Tulsa General Office, retired July 24 after 18 years of service.

Floyd Schulte, Alsuma Meter & Substation, retired July 7 after 39 years of service.

Southwestern Electric Power Company

Ronald Cosby, Shreveport General Office, retired July 7 after 41 years of service.

Thomas Farnham, Longview Operations, retired July 14 after 46 years of service.

Transmission

James Garrett III, AEP Transmission-New Albany, retired July 14 after 39 years of service.

Richard Vance, North Charleston Service Center, retired July 24 after 34 years of service.

Kenneth Walker, AEP Transmission-New Albany, retired July 17 after 20 years of service.

Appalachian Power Employee Recognized for Pulling a Stranger From a Burning Car

Appalachian Power Company Technician Fred Bryant (second from left) received the AEP Chairman’s Life Saving Award from (from left) Appalachian Power President and COO Chris Beam, AEP Vice President for Safety and Health Natalie McCord and Appalachian Power DIstribution Vice President Phil Wright last week in Lynchburg.

(Story by Teresa Hall)

There are many words that one could use to describe Fred Bryant’s actions when he risked his own safety to pull a stranger from a burning car, but Bryant isn’t comfortable with being singled out or called a hero. A humble man, Bryant said what he did that June day is what anyone would have done to help a person in need.

The longtime Lynchburg, Va., technician was headed to a dental appointment last year with his wife, Angie, when they noticed a crashed vehicle in a ditch along a rural road near Forest.

“I saw the car and just reacted,” said Bryant, a former volunteer firefighter, who is CPR and first aid certified through the company.

When Bryant approached the car, he saw that the sole occupant was a male driver. Bryant and a second man who stopped to help tried to coax the driver out of the car, but Bryant said the motorist appeared to be in shock.

Bryant was on the passenger side communicating with the driver when he saw flames starting to form beneath the car. As a former firefighter, Bryant knew the outcome could be deadly if they didn’t act fast to distance themselves from the vehicle.

The smoke and flames soon forced Bryant and the other Good Samaritan to the driver’s side of the vehicle.

The driver’s side door was jammed and the situation was growing more intense by the second. “The smoke was thick, the flames were getting hotter and being this close to the car, we were having a hard time breathing,” Bryant said.

Fred Bryant and several bystanders tend to a crash victim while awaiting fire and rescue personnel. Photo courtesy of Bryant’s wife, Angie.

By now, the victim was feeling the effects of the heat and flames on his skin. Fortunately, another person who had stopped had a sharp knife to cut the man’s seatbelt. Bryant and the second man he’d been working with together pulled the driver through the window and away from the burning car. From there, two other bystanders helped the pair drag the crash victim as far from the car as possible.

“I was very nervous when the fire erupted and he wouldn’t leave the car,” the Appalachian Power technician recalled. Within minutes of getting the driver out, Bryant said he heard a loud bang as the tires and car exploded.

The situation could have easily had a tragic outcome. “I’m just thankful it worked out like it did,” Bryant said.

The driver suffered second and possibly third degree burns to the back of his arms and on his legs and was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center for treatment.

“I just did what anyone would have done that day,” said Bryant after he received the AEP Chairman’s Life Saving Award last week in Lynchburg. Earlier this year, Bryant also received an American Red Cross Hero Award in the Emergency Response category for his actions. “I’m not a hero. I’m just someone who was there and helped another person in need.”