BC Hydro transmission crew receives Electricity Canada lifesaving award

Ottawa (November 21) – Members of a BC Hydro transmission crew who witnessed a micro-lite glider crash and assisted in the rescue of the pilot are recipients of Electricity Canada’s Lifesaving Award.

On August 25, 2021, Paul Lu, Chris Browning, Ryan McKay, Pat McMinn, Greg Kitt, Mike Sawatsky, Dave Thomas, and James Cotter were set to the leave their worksite in Pemberton, BC when they saw a micro-lite glider crash nearby. They immediately called 911 and set off on foot to locate the crash site and assist the injured pilot. They found the pilot barely conscious and were able to stabilize him until further help arrived. The crew ensured the rescued pilot was securely placed into an Aerial Rescue Platform and called in the helicopter pilot for pick up to transport to awaiting ambulance which transported the injured pilot to the hospital.

Electricity Canada’s Lifesaving Awards are granted annually to any on-duty employee of a member utility who was involved in a lifesaving attempt or acted to prevent further harm to someone who needed immediate help. These individuals often risk their own lives to help a stranger in need. The Lifesaving Awards are presented as part of the Occupational Health and Safety program at Electricity Canada, designed to track and monitor safety records of member utilities.

This year’s awards were presented at the sixth annual Electricity Canada Powering Partnerships summit in Ottawa to 23 individuals from five utilities.


Every year, I am so inspired by the incredible, heroic people we have working for our member companies. It’s an honour to share their stories and thank them for their bravery. On behalf of Electricity Canada, I am proud to present this award to the crew for quickly responding to this rescue effort and saving the pilot’s life.

– Francis Bradley, President and CEO, Electricity Canada

At BC Hydro, safety is our top priority. Our employees are trained to deal with emergency situations and our team went above and beyond with this incident. I’m grateful that Paul, Chris, Ryan, Pat, Greg, Mike, Dave and James stepped in and supported the injured pilot until further help arrived. And I’m so proud you are being recognized for your efforts .

– Chris O’Riley, President and CEO, BC Hydro

About Electricity Canada:

Founded in 1891, Electricity Canada (formerly the Canadian Electricity Association) is the national forum and voice of the evolving and innovative electricity business in Canada. The Association supports, through its advocacy efforts, the regional, national, and international success of its members. Electricity Canada members generate, transmit, and distribute electrical energy to industrial, commercial, residential, and institutional customers across Canada. Members include integrated electric utilities, independent power producers, transmission and distribution companies, power marketers, and system operators, who together deliver electricity to all Canadians, in every province and territory.

For additional Information:

Graeme Burk, Director of Communications, burk@electricity.ca 613.809.0720