Apprentice lineman Brendan Laflamme has been named Kissimmee Utility Authority’s 2017 employee of the year for his heroic efforts in saving the life of a child.
The award recognizes and rewards exemplary performance by a KUA employee based on both performance of their responsibilities as outlined in their job description and on their specific contributions to the mission, goals and values of the utility. With the honor comes a plaque, $200 cash, two days off with pay and a reserved parking space.
On May 13, Laflamme was off duty participating in the 2017 Toho Big Fish Blast fishing tournament on Lake Tohopekaliga, an annual competition hosted by the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce. The tournament featured hourly weigh-ins which required participating fishermen to return each hour to the marina to weigh any fish that had been caught on the lake during that hour.
Laflamme had arrived back at the marina for one of the weigh-ins when he witnessed a young boy fall 10 feet from the concrete sea wall into the lake below. Without hesitation, Laflamme jumped fully clothed from an adjacent dock into the lake and quickly swam to the boy, grabbed him and swam him back to the dock. The boy was visibly shaken, but did not suffer any injuries in the fall. The boy was hoisted up to the dock to his grateful father.
In July, Laflamme was named the utility’s employee of the month and the American Red Cross awarded him its prestigious Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action. The certificate is given to individuals who save or sustain a life by action that exemplifies the mission of preparedness, health and safety.