Man Receives Award for Saving Another Man's Life

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

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By Jill Kasparie

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Electrical workers are honoring an Ely man for quick thinking that saved another man's life.

Larry Simon and Cody Whittom were working together on the University of Iowa campus last summer, but a typical day quickly turned into a rescue scene.

The two will never forget what happened on August 29. Both recall the scene like it was yesterday.

"Me and Cody we were working at the Dental Science building,” Simon said.

"He was working on a can light and I was cutting the tiles, and the next thing I know he kind of started shaking and moaning,” Whittom said.

"I got tied into the live 277 volt energized circuit and got it in the left hand with one wire and the right hand on the other,” Simon said.

"That's when I realized I had to do something about it,” Whittom said

The men said the heavy dose of electrical current flowing across Larry's heart was more than enough to kill him. So, the 22-year-old acted quickly and knocked the ladder from underneath Larry to break the electrical circuit. The simple act saved Larry's life.

Wednesday night Cody received recognition for his quick thinking from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, or IBEW, Local 405 in Cedar Rapids.

"It's kind of surreal. I don't know how to feel about it,” Whittom said.

"I'm feeling pretty emotional right now,” Simon said.

The experienced journeyman calls his apprentice his hero. While Larry knows he wouldn't be here without him, the two now share a unique bond and every once in a while they also share a good laugh about that day last summer as they continue working together.

"I guess, I'll be buying him a pop or something,” Simon said.

Leaders of IBEW-Local 405 said they have only handed out about seven life-saving awards in more than a century.

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