A tractor-trailer rolls over on an interstate highway, causing two cars to crash. Five people are trapped in the damaged vehicles. Help is needed – and fast.
Enter Robert Kisenwether, PPL Electric Utilities employee and lifesaving community volunteer.
Kisenwether, a Transportation journeyman mechanic based in Hazleton, was recently recognized for freeing an injured driver during an accident on Interstate 80 last October. Kisenwether responded to the crash as part of his volunteer work with the Valley Regional Fire Rescue agency in Luzerne County.
He received the Green Cross award from Hurst, maker of “Jaws of Life” rescue equipment. The company gives the honor to emergency responders who use its products in successful rescues. Kisenwether used Hurst’s equipment to rescue one of the drivers trapped as a result of the early-morning crash.
Kisenwether’s intervention likely saved the driver’s life. But to hear him tell it, it was just another day volunteering in the community.
He’s been volunteering with local fire companies for 40 years, and has responded to countless auto accidents. He even won another award, roughly 25 years ago, for rescuing another person from entrapment.
Last year he answered 112 calls for the fire rescue squad and compiled more than 150 hours of volunteer service. And he’s not slowing down: A few hours before being interviewed for this story, he responded to help a person who fell 40 feet from a lift.
When responding to calls, “you try to be as calm as you can be, because getting excited doesn’t help anybody,” Kisenwether said. “You have a job to do, and you just do it.”
And why does he volunteer to step into dangerous situations?
“I enjoy it, and it’s nice to help people out,” the 28-year PPL employee said.
It’s a down-to-earth approach, but one with big results for the community – none bigger than another life saved.