SCE Crews to the Rescue
SCE Crews to the Rescue
On a blue-sky November morning in Visalia, 15-year veteran lineman Ryan Casey and apprentice Timothy Stalboerger were driving to a work site when they encountered a traffic accident. As the Southern California Edison lineworkers approached, they observed a man unconscious in the driver’s seat, experiencing a medical emergency. The two were among the first to come across the scene, and there was no doubt in their minds about what they had to do next.
“We just did what we could to try and help,” said Stalboerger, who joined SCE in 2022.
For the next five minutes, Casey and Stalboerger rendered first aid — initially administering CPR as they had learned in SCE’s safety training. With no response and the clock ticking, the men pulled out an automated external defibrillator, the life-saving machine that is always kept with every SCE field crew. With one jolt and then another, the man regained a pulse. By the time first responders arrived, the man was responsive and he was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Lineworkers Ryan Casey (L) and Timothy Stalboerger helped save a man's life using an automated external defibrillator from their SCE truck. PHOTO CREDIT: Ryan Casey
“We practice this scenario in controlled environments. Once the AED came on, we got to work,” said Casey. “It was nice seeing the man walk over to the gurney himself.”
For Southern California Edison’s front-line electrical teams, working throughout the company’s service area to keep power flowing to 15 million people, each day is a new day. They start their shifts not knowing where they’ll be called to, what tasks will arise or what “trouble” they’ll find. Wherever the job takes them, these men and women are specially trained to handle high-voltage electrical equipment — and are entrusted with doing so safely.
The steady presence and clarity of mind required to do the job sometimes positions SCE’s crews to save lives.
“All of our linemen and troublemen — this is what we deal with and how we train, we have to be super focused on our job,” said Sam Murphy, a troubleman who has been with SCE since 2016. “We’re able to react during emergency situations because that’s what we deal with every day; it’s our job to stay calm and stay safe.”
During a recent workday, Murphy was returning to the South Bay Service Center in Torrance when he witnessed a brush fire in a nearby grass lot. If the fire continued to grow, it would eventually reach a horse stable and livestock on the same property and an oil refinery not far away. Murphy acted without hesitation, applying his knowledge of fire activity to wet the ground surrounding the horse stables. His swift response redirected the flames away from the animals, creating a fire break that curbed its growth.
“Knowing there were horses there, that was my main focus,” said Murphy. “I kept wetting the ground near the stables for about 15 minutes, then firefighters came and kept the fire contained until it ran its course.”
In both instances, these men will tell you they were simply in the right place at the right time and did what any person would do in an emergency. Others will note that to save animals from a brush fire and bring a man back to life is decisively exceptional, with life-saving impacts. The SCE crew members remain unphased — which is also important when they’re performing their lineworker jobs.
“The key is to keep your adrenaline in check, because if you’re not doing that, you’re not going to think clearly,” Murphy said. “You have to be calm when you’re dealing with high voltage.”
For more information on why safety is SCE's top priority, visit sce.com/safety. For more information about careers at SCE, visit edisoncareers.com.