PALMETTO, GA, December 2, 2021 – Coweta Fayette Electric Membership Corporation (CFEMC) System Operator Jennifer Martin received a life-saving award from Georgia EMC during the state association’s annual meeting held in Savannah in November.
The award recognizes EMC employees whose courageous actions were instrumental in rescuing someone from grave and immediate danger.
Martin, a CFEMC employee of 25+ years, was honored for helping to reunite a missing person with their family, eliminating possible danger and ultimately saving their life in the process.
During the Spring of 2021, Martin noticed a disoriented man standing in the woods behind the EMC office in Fayetteville, GA., so she reported it to the on-site deputy sheriff.
“I was at work walking outside, just trying to enjoy the nature around me during my scheduled break, and I saw a man come out of the woods looking disoriented. I reported it immediately!” said Martin.
After she alerted law enforcement, they attempted to find the man and could not locate him.
“I went back inside the building and told the deputy sheriff about the situation, but the man had already left the area,” she said.
Martin saw him two additional times after that and alerted the on-site deputy sheriff again, who was able to get him out of harm’s way at that time.
“A couple of hours later, I saw him again in the road, where he could have clearly been struck by an oncoming vehicle, so I notified the deputy once again,” she explained.
Upon approaching the man, law enforcement learned he was an Alzheimer’s patient from South Carolina.
“He had been admitted to the local hospital after being found once before, and he somehow managed to get out and wasn’t sure where he was,” said Martin.
After conversing with the missing man and transporting him back to the hospital, those involved were able to contact his daughter in South Carolina who was pleased to reunite with him.
When asked what was going through Martin’s mind during the incident, she explained she was concerned and knew that something was off.
“Well, the man was not dressed for the weather and seemed disoriented,” Martin recalled. “I knew after seeing him 3 times in one day that something wasn’t right, and all of these possible scenarios were going through my mind as to what was going on with this gentleman.”
Ultimately, she was glad that she trusted her instincts to say something.
“I was glad that I was the one to see him and say something. It’s a great reminder that we should always be aware of our surroundings,” she said. “I am grateful that I was present during those moments and that we had an officer present who took the initiative to follow up on the report.”
CFEMC CEO Chris Stephens said he was proud of Martin’s awareness and her actions in helping save this gentleman’s life.
“As an employee of an electric utility, it is part of our DNA that we are always conscious of our surroundings and looking out for each other’s safety,” said Stephens.
Martin was among 8 employees from 7 EMCs in Georgia who were recognized with a life-saving award in 2021.
Coweta Fayette EMC is a member-owned cooperative providing electricity and related services to over 80,000 consumers in Coweta, Fayette, Heard, Fulton, Clayton, Meriwether, Spalding, and Troup counties.