Delaware Electric Cooperative lineworker Sheron Sturgis was honored recently by the Sussex County EMS and Volunteer Ambulance Association for saving a driver’s life in 2020.

Sturgis was recognized during an EMS awards ceremony in Georgetown, Del. The event is held annually to recognize individuals who have made a difference in their communities.

According to DEC President and CEO Greg Starheim, “I am so proud of Sheron for saving the life of a trapped driver and for being an outstanding employee. While he is very humble and didn’t seek out this recognition, it is certainly well deserved. I’m thrilled he was honored for his heroism.”

On Oct. 14, 2020, Sturgis had just returned home from visiting his mom when he heard a loud boom. He walked outside and discovered a truck had collided with a car down the street from his house in Sussex County.

Knowing he needed to take action, the lineworker headed toward the scene of the accident. As he got closer, he noticed smoke coming from the engine block of the car and realized the driver was unconscious and trapped.

As Sheron started running toward the trapped driver, several other good Samaritans started spraying the flames with fire extinguishers. The doors on the car were jammed and couldn’t be opened.

As the fire quickly spread, Sturgis used a spent fire extinguisher to knock out the back and a side window to let out some of the smoke. He then quickly knocked out the driver’s side window. With the help of another bystander, he pulled the driver out of the car. Sturgis’s heroic actions came just in time; he said the entire car burst into flames 30 seconds after the driver was rescued.

Firefighters and paramedics arrived on the scene a few minutes after the rescue and were able to extinguish the fire and provide the injured driver treatment. The driver survived and Sturgis suffered just a few small cuts.

After the rescue last year, Sturgis said, “I did what anyone would do in that situation, or at least I pray that’s what anyone else would do. It could have been so much worse, and we worked as a team to save the driver.”

—Report by Lauren Irby, Manager of Public Relations & Community Outreach, Delaware Electric Cooperative

Above photo: From left. Jesse Spampinato, DEC vice president of operations, Sheron Sturgis and Greg Starheim, DEC president and CEO.