Heroes by Happenstance
Two Snapping Shoals EMC employees are being honored for their bravery Monday by receiving Life Saving Awards from Georgia EMC. If not for Farron Head and Ken Ellington, two Newton County residents may have lost their lives this year.
While on the way to perform an energy audit in September, Ellington noticed someone standing in the middle of the road around 12:30 p.m. As he got closer, he realized that someone was a little girl, around 3 years old.
Ellington said that he tried to hurry toward her in his vehicle, but at the same time was mindful of startling the child. When he pulled up alongside her and asked her where her mother was, the child reportedly told him that her mother had gone to town and she was looking for her and that she was lost. The child was too young to know her phone number, so Ellington immediately called 911.
“I couldn’t believe she was just there in the middle of the road,” said Ellington. “Worse yet, there is a lake on the other side of the road, so she could have fallen in there without anyone noticing.”
He said that he was able to get the child to point in the direction of her home so he got her into his truck and started toward a neighborhood. When he drove closer to her home, at this time with a Newton County Sheriff's deputy in tow, the child pointed it out to him.
When they knocked on the door the girl's father answered. According to Ellington he didn't know his child was missing and had put her and her brother down for a nap, then laid down himself.
In a press release from Snapping Shoals, the management credits Ellington's “quick and composed reaction” with saving the toddler's life.
“We train our employees in safety and first-aid techniques, so they can be equipped at any time, in any situation that might call for emergency response. It’s an integral part of our overall safety program, because we want to prepare employees to take the proper action, even if the emergency is not work related,” says Guy Williams, Loss
Control Director for Snapping Shoals EMC.
“ I'm thankful they selected me,” said Ellington. “ But I'm more thankful that I was in the right place at the right time. The whole time I was thinking ' that could be my kids' and I would hope that someone else would do the same thing for me that I did for that little girl and her family.”
It's been close to a year since Farron Head saved a woman from her burning home and a major heart attack, but not before he had helped her retrieve several of her cats and dogs.
Head was driving down Old Covington Road at Almon at around 9: 30 a. m. that morning when he noticed smoke. As he drove closer, he saw that it was coming from the fireplace of a home from which flames were shooting.
He contacted 911 then went to the door of the home to see if anyone was home. An older woman answered and asked if her house was on fire.
“ I told her ' yes ma'am it is’ and she started freaking out. She told me I had to help her save her animals.”
For the next several minutes the woman brought dogs and cats to Head, who loaded them into her vehicle for her. Throughout this, the woman kept saying that her chest hurt. Eventually Head convinced her that she needed to stay out of the home and let the fire department get any other animals that may be inside the house.
Head got the woman into his truck where the heat was on and when help arrived she was transported to the hospital where they found she was suffering from a mild heart attack.
Although the home was nearly destroyed, Head was able to get the homeowner and her pets out safely.
“ I feel like anyone who works with Snapping Shoals would have done the same thing,” said Head. “ I'm no one special and I don't feel like I'm any kind of hero. I hope that if my house was on fire, someone else would do the same thing for me.”
Although Head and Ellington may not think of themselves as heroes, Snapping Shoals President and CEO Brad Thomas feels differently.
“" The entire Snapping Shoals EMC family is very proud of Farron and Ken. Their selflessness is an outstanding example of the many good qualities found among our employees."
Local heroes: Farron Head, left, saved a woman and her pets from a burning home, all the while helping her survive a heart attack. Ken Ellington, right, helped a lost girl locate her home and family. Both of these men are employees of Snapping Shoals EMC and received Life Saving Awards from Georgia EMC.