The American Gas Association (AGA) is honoring Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. and one of its gas crews with the Meritorious Service Award for their actions that helped rescue two men who were trapped in a trench collapse while working on a sewer line in the City of Poughkeepsie in January 2020.
The gas team of Shawn Pitcher, Dana Presto, Melissa Joseph (McKinney), Chris Wade, Larry McDonald, Gary Clark, Donald Trabucco and Larry Shafer– were called to the scene of an emergency excavation trench collapse. The crew is recognized for going beyond simply securing the gas service line that was impacted by the trench collapse, as they also used their expertise in trench excavation to assist first responders as they worked to rescue the two individuals who were partially buried.
The efforts of the team directly saved the life of one of the victims by expediting the rescue. City of Poughkeepsie Fire Chief Mark W. Johnson said Central Hudson’s effective use of an air spade removed heavy wet clay from the area surrounding one of the victims who was suffering from shock and an upper body injury. In a letter of commendation, Chief Johnson went on to compliment the way Central Hudson’s team worked closely with responders from the fire department and that the use of the air spade proved invaluable.
“I’m extremely proud of the members of our gas crew for their calm, effective response to a high-pressure, life-threatening situation,” said Anthony Campagiorni, Vice President of Customer Services & Gas Operations at Central Hudson. “The incredible teamwork shown by the City of Poughkeepsie Fire Department, City of Poughkeepsie Department of Public Works, Central Hudson and all other responders saved the lives of two men. We’re grateful to the American Gas Association for recognizing these efforts.”
The award will be presented at the 2021 AGA Operations Conference & Biennial Exhibition being held October 5-8, at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, FL.
The American Gas Association (AGA) represents companies delivering natural gas safely, reliably, and in an environmentally responsible way to help improve the quality of life for their customers every day. AGA's mission is to provide clear value to its membership and serve as the indispensable, leading voice and facilitator on its behalf in promoting the safe, reliable, and efficient delivery of natural gas to homes and businesses across the nation.