By: Austin Bauer
Our employees spend their days making life better for the people of Michigan by providing safe, reliable energy. But their commitment to the community isn’t just about delivering a commodity, it includes delivering hometown service when they are on and off the job. Time and time again we get reports of how our employees knocked on someone’s door to alert them to a fire, went above and beyond to save an animal and in Patrick Colley’s case, use their Consumers Energy training to help save a life.
Patrick Colley was feeling eager on Jan. 27. Colley started at the company back in the fall of 2021 in Gas Construction, and he was preparing that morning to take his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Test.
The test started out pretty normal – inspecting the vehicle, doing some trailer maneuvers, and parking tests. Everything was typical until the road test.
Colley was doing well on his road test when something unusual happened. Approaching an intersection, he noticed there was a tow-truck blocking one of the lanes and a crowd gathered next to a parked vehicle.
Colley asked the instructor what they should do, and they decided it would be helpful to put on their hazards to help alert other vehicles to move traffic around the tow truck.
That’s when Colley saw something shocking—a person broke the window of the vehicle and dragged a motionless body out of the car. The instructor and Colley watched as the person began performing CPR on the individual.
Having recently been trained in CPR as part of his Safety Training, Colley noticed that the person performing CPR was not doing it correctly. In a decisive moment, Colley discussed it with the CDL Instructor, and they decided it would be best to ask if they could help.
Colley introduced himself saying, “my name is Patrick and I am trained in CPR, would you like help?” Exasperated, the person exclaimed, “we don’t know what we’re doing, please help!”
That’s when Colley’s training kicked in. He began performing compressions and instructed the person who was there to give the correct number of breaths at the proper time.
“Give him more air!” the bystanders exclaimed—but Colley assured them they were doing everything correctly. After about six sets of compressions and breaths, the person began to gasp for air as paramedics and the fire department arrived.
The paramedics used their tools to help the individual breathe, but asked Colley to continue compressions while the Fire Department prepared the AED. They used the AED on the individual and took over for Colley.
Colley and the Instructor got back in the truck. “That was pretty crazy,” Colley said. “Do you want to continue the test, or do you want to try again later?” his instructor replied. “Well, I showed up to work this morning ready to get my CDL,” Colley smiled, “so let’s continue the test.”
With a sharp mind and steady nerves, Colley passed his test that day. He returned to the headquarters having saved a life and achieved an important accomplishment!
We asked Brenda Campbell, a Health, Safety, and Environmental Instructor and the Red Cross point of contact for the company what Colley did right that day.
“We all have a ‘gut instinct’ and have to learn to follow it,” Campbell stated. “Colley knew something wasn’t right and he followed all the correct steps—he introduced himself, stated he had CPR training, and asked if they needed help.” She continued, “Patrick stayed calm under pressure and his training kicked in, he did everything right.”
Colley’s story is a true testament of how our Safety Training can be called upon at a moment’s notice. His decisive actions led to a life being saved that day, and for that person it made all the difference. We thank Patrick for his service to our company and his community by being ready to take action when needed.
For more stories about our employees helping neighbors in need check out these blogs: