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Bolen Recognized for Aiding Injured Victim, Earns President’s Award from AEP Texas

by on October 23, 2017
Shown along with Leland Bolen (center) are Alex Ramirez (left), manager of distribution system for the San Angelo District, and Denise McDonald, meter services supervisor in San Angelo.

(Story by Frank Espinoza)

In a split-second, Leland Bolen, a field meter servicer at the McCamey Service Center, needed to make a decision fast: Does he follow company protocol or help save a life?

His decision proved to be the right one as his actions may have saved the life of a public citizen. His quick thinking and actions earned the employee with 19 years of service an AEP Texas President’s Award.

In mid-June, Bolen was traveling on Highway 349 back to Iraan in a remote area of west Texas when suddenly he came upon a woman who was desperately waving her arms for help. As he slowed down to survey the situation, he noticed a vehicle that appeared to have gone off the road and flipped over a fence. As he approached the woman, she told him she was having pain in her head and chest and that she needed help. Because of no cell-phone or radio reception in that remote area, he could not reach emergency responders.

“When I saw her I couldn’t see any blood but could tell she was hurting,” said Bolen. “So after trying again unsuccessfully to reach for help on my cell phone and radio, I decided to drive her to the nearest hospital.”

Bolen added that as he was driving her to the hospital, he was aware of her head injury and kept her talking to make sure she remained conscious.

The woman told Bolen she had fallen asleep while driving and lost control of her vehicle. It rolled it over several times. She also said she was not wearing a seat belt and that she was ejected from her vehicle.

Once Bolen safely transported the woman to a local hospital in Iraan, he then reported the incident to local authorities. But he didn’t stop there; he also contacted the woman’s husband to inform him of the accident and to let him know she was at a local hospital.

Judith Talavera, AEP Texas president and chief operating officer, said Bolen made the right call.

“While our company policy does not allow non-employees in our company vehicles except for official company business, Leland came across a potential life-and-death situation,” said Talavera. “He did everything he could to reach for emergency help and had no other option but to help a person who appeared to have serious injuries.”

Talavera added that she was very proud of Bolen because he demonstrated true professionalism and compassion while helping a person in need.

Bolen said he received a text from the woman’s daughter later that day informing him that her mother was doing well and also expressed her gratitude for his help.

When asked what he learned from this experience, Bolen said the incident became personal.

“Everybody is important to somebody,” he said. “If that were my wife I would want her to receive the same type of help which is why I would do it again. It’s the right thing to do.”

From → News From AEP

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