The TCIA Safety Awards confirm your commitment to safety. Did one of your employee's safety precautions prevent a serious accident? Did he teach a fellow crew member how to do something in a safer way? Perhaps he assisted in an aerial rescue operation. Add prestige and credibility to your company name and his career – nominate him and/or his crew. They deserve recognition, and so do you!
The TCIA Safety Awards recognize exemplary action in two areas. The Outstanding Individual/Crew Performance award recognizes an individual's or crew's heroic reaction to an emergency situation. The Outstanding Company Contribution award recognizes a member's proactive program to address safety issues.
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November 1. Winners are announced at TCIA’s annual Winter Management Conference.
Current winners - 2012 Company Awards
Vine & Branch Tree Service in Indiana is once again recognized for its ongoing and multi-faceted effort to make the public aware of tree hazards. This has been a campaign for this company for quite some time and they are legitimately proud of their accomplishments.
Trees Inc., headquartered in Houston, is recognized for creating their electrical hazard awareness training trailer. This is a 42-foot-long rolling classroom that literally travels coast to coast to train crews and to provide public service demonstrations.
S & S Tree and Landscaping Specialists in Minnesota is recognized for creating a comprehensive training curriculum for its PHC division to address long-term health, regulatory compliance and liability issues within that division.
Lucas Tree Experts in Portland, Maine, has a litany of safety initiatives – literally a bulleted summary one-and-a-half pages long – that we wish to recognize. This list makes note of certain ongoing aspects of Lucas’ safety efforts, such as re-certification in the Maine SHARP program, but it also describes many new items large and small. They created a new fleet training coordinator position, and they sponsored six more CTSP candidates so that they have a total of 32 in the company. They implemented an initiative they call Eight to be Great.
Awhile back, the Davey Tree Expert Company implemented a proprietary defensive driving course to instill an incident prevention mind-set and teach actual driving skills. Employees can access this training through instructor-led training or individually online. Our safety award was precipitated by an event this past October in which a Davey employee used his training to avert what would have been a catastrophic accident with multiple casualties.
The Bartlett Tree Expert Company and Capel Manor College in the United Kingdom are jointly recognized for the work that Steve Biggs, Bartlett’s safety and training coordinator in the UK and Ireland and the chair of the Arboricultural Course Advisory Committee, and Linda Hope, the secretary of the Arboricultural Course Advisory Committee, have done to promote safety and professionalism. In brief, they transformed the college’s arboricultural apprenticeship program to include strong arboricultural safety components. Steve and Linda worked tirelessly to bring national attention to the need for strong safety components in college level arboricultural curriculums.
In 2012, Bartlett’s Mid-Atlantic Division implemented a Weekly Safety Conference Call program to review safety related matters. Participants include Peter Becker division manager; John Smithmyer, assistant division manager; safety & training coordinator Joseph Bones; administrative assistant Debora Miller; and 14 local office managers, assistant local office managers and local office lead representatives. The Division experienced a 28 percent decrease in overall accidents and a 32 percent decrease in personnel injury related incidents. They believe their Weekly Local Manager Safety Conference Calls to be an important addition to their existing safety programs.
Arborwell, in Hayward, California, is recognized for two innovative solutions to what can be persistent fleet safety problems. Their corner cone program requires their drivers to place one safety cone behind a parked vehicle. Before backing out of the parking spot, the driver must retrieve the cone and in the process walk around the vehicle checking for obstructions. The second is a little more elaborate and involves dashboard-mounted cameras that capture activity both in the cab and on the road in front of the vehicle. Video footage can be used to determine root cause in an incident and has already cleared the company of fault in one incident.
Current winners - 2012 Individual and Crew Awards
The theme throughout and the lesson for the rest of us is that training and preparation can transform people who might seem ordinary into heroes.
Three Wright Tree Service crews are recognized.
In December 2011, two Wright crews responded to a house fire. While one man called 911, the other three ran to the house, where they learned that two people were still trapped inside. Two entered the house but were overcome by the smoke and had to retreat outside. They ran to the back of the house, broke a window and called for the stranded residents, getting no response. Thankfully, the elderly woman and her son escaped through a side door. The woman was lying at the end of the driveway, struggling to breathe. One crew member picked her up and moved her to safety and oxygen. The crew members continued to secure the scene and assist EMTs until further help arrived.
In February, a Wright crew and their general foreman intervened when a private tree care contractor dropped a tree into power lines and started a fire. They alerted authorities while they continued to plead with the belligerent contractor to stop what he was doing and move to safety.
In March, a Wright crew and their general foreman prevented a homeowner from picking up a downed power line. It just so happens that this crew was comprised of the same general foreman and same trimmer who were involved in the previous incident.
We recognize Richard Butt, a trimmer with Trees, Inc. in central Florida. Last July, Richard applied his CPR training to save the life of a seven-month-old baby who was blue and unresponsive.
Last April, the Townsend crew of Terry Willett, Dan Aston and Corey Cooper extricated an elderly gentleman from under his riding lawnmower, which was overturned in a ditch. The victim had been pinned there for half an hour.
Carolina Tree Care nominated five individuals or crews for various types of exemplary performance. Jonathan Hensley is a field safety trainer who implemented something he calls the “ground policeman” – this is a dedicated person on the ground who patrols the drop zone and communicates with the person aloft to insure that it is clear.
Back in January, Marc Rayfield and Jaime Tucker, with Carolina Tree’s residential/commercial division, witnessed a car accident and used their fire extinguisher and their water cooler to battle the ensuing car fire until rescue personnel arrived.
Three Carolina crews demonstrated their continuous commitment to safety. These crews stood out among their peers throughout a comprehensive safety audit conducted at mid-year. Crew 1 was Wayne Harris, Chad Chrisawn and Matt Murphy; Crew 2 was Terry Williams, Josh Perry and Ben Perry; and crew 3 was Chris Turner and Ricky Ramirez.
In May, Wilber Larios, a foreman in Bartlett’s Gaithersburg office was working with his crew in Washington, D.C., when a large tulip poplar several doors down from their work site unexpectedly failed. This tree landed on the hood of a car stopped at an intersection, sparing its occupants. Two DC police officers responded immediately, parking their cruiser nearby. Larios responded to the sound of the crashing tree. As he approached the accident site he spotted an American beech only a few feet from the fallen tulip poplar that was likely to fail at any moment, with a police cruiser as well as an officer in its path. He hurriedly warned the officers, who quickly moved. Almost immediately, the second tree fell, landing exactly where the cruiser had been parked only seconds earlier. Wilbur’s professional observation and timely notification likely saved the life of at least one police officer, and possibly those of several pedestrians who were standing in the fall zone.
With crews worldwide, Asplundh is recognized for no less than six awards.
In January in Big Bend, Wisconsin, two crews witnessed a car lose control and flip over in a water-filled ditch. They ran to the car, which was quickly filling with water, flipped it on its side and extricated the driver.
In early February in Western New York, a crew drove up on an accident scene where an elderly driver had sheared off a utility pole and careened into the woods. They used their strobe to warn oncoming drivers of wires in the road and simultaneously rendered first aid to the victim in her car.
In mid-August in El Paso, Texas, an Asplundh crew rescued an 18-month-old toddler from the clutches of a deranged and naked man wielding a knife, chased the man off, and returned the child to her mother.
In July in New South Wales, Australia, a line clearance tree trimmer named Mark Vickers was first on the scene of a car crash and provided first aid to the victim in her car.
In August in Myersville, Maryland, a crew discovered an elderly woman who had fallen in her driveway and lain there unnoticed for three days and nights. They rendered first aid, gave the victim water and summoned assistance.
In November in Cape May, New Jersey, a crew rescued an elderly couple from their smoke-filled mobile home. The smoke came from a malfunctioning heating unit.
Review our archive of past Safety Award winners.