Noble REMC Journeyman Lineman Mike Klopfenstein doesn’t consider himself a hero, but Indiana Electric Cooperatives sees it differently. Klopfenstein was recently honored with IEC’s Distinguished Service Award for his quick thinking during a medical emergency.
In January, the graduates of IEC’s Rural Electric Apprentice Program (REAP) were enjoying dinner at their graduation ceremony, when someone made a joke at Klopfenstein’s table. A colleague laughed, inhaling a piece of food and causing him to start choking.
Within moments, people were beginning to worry, but Klopfenstein saw the other man pointing to the
bathroom. Klopfenstein followed, keeping an eye on him, and once they were away from the crowd, the colleague made a fist at his stomach as a sign of what he needed. Thrusting upward with the Heimlich maneuver, Klopfenstein was able to dislodge the food and stop the choking.
Doug Dickmeyer, manager of engineering and operations, and Rob Hauck, line foreman, nominated Klopfenstein for the award to honor his quick thinking under pressure and putting his safety training and education into practice.