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Co-op heroes receive Power & Hope Award

TCEC employees work hard to keep the lights on every day in the communities they serve. While they’re out, they’re observant of their surroundings, going the extra mile to make a difference in the lives of members. Five TCEC employees recently received the Touchstone Energy® Power & Hope Award for their actions in emergency situations. 

In September, three cooperative linemen were some of the first on the scene of an accident between a semi and a pickup where the pickup was on fire with the driver still inside. The accident happened south of Turpin on Highway 83 on September 29, 2015. Kyle Weber, Kyle Osborn, and B.J. Appleton provided first aid to the driver and used more than seven fire extinguishers to put out the fire. They stopped additional vehicles driving by to get more fire extinguishers because the diesel fuel kept igniting. The driver of the pickup was taken alive to the hospital but did not survive his injuries. 

The crew received a thank you from the Turpin Fire Department for their actions. Chief Gary Riffe said, “They were instrumental in putting out the fire before any fire department arrived...The help provided by these individuals was just awesome.”

In a separate incident, TCEC Journeyman Electrician Eric Brown and Electrician Assistant Francisco Rodriguez found a small boy, less than two years old, unsupervised outside on a bitterly cold day. They wrapped the boy in a jacket and knocked on neighborhood doors looking for his home. Not finding anyone to identify the boy, they called authorities who helped reunite the boy with his family. The boy was unharmed thanks to the quick thinking of Eric and Francisco.

“These five men went above and beyond the call of duty when they stopped to help in extreme circumstances,” said TCEC Chief Operating Officer Zac Perkins. “They’re truly heroes in their own right.”

Photo Cutline: L-R Kyle Osborn, B.J. Appleton, Kyle Weber, TCEC linemen, Zac Perkins, chief operating officer, Lyle Mathis, vice president-Operations, Eric Brown, journeyman electrician, and Francisco Rodriguez, electrician assistant.

Headquartered in Hooker, Oklahoma, Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) is a not-for-profit distribution cooperative owned and controlled by its members. TCEC is committed to improving the quality of life for its members and communities by delivering safe, reliable and affordable electric service. The cooperative serves about 23,000 meters in the Oklahoma Panhandle, southwestern Kansas, the northern border of the Texas Panhandle and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. TCEC is a Touchstone Energy cooperative. For more information, visit

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