October 23, 2014

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St. Louis Motorist Assistant Operator is Honored for Saving a Life

What started out as a routine day was anything but for Motorist Assistance Operator Joshua Wiechens last month when he arrived on a scene to find an unconscious truck driver trapped between her vehicle and a concrete wall. Because of the quick actions he took that day, he was honored with the Meritorious Safety Award from the Highway Commission last week.

Joshua Wiechens with Commissioners in October
Joshua Wiechens (in yellow) is honored by the Commissioners at the October Commission meeting in St. Louis.

The truck driver was traveling on I-70 in St. Charles county that day when her tractor trailer engine ignited into a fire. The driver pulled over and made it out of the truck but was overcome with smoke inhalation and passed out.

Wiechens was the first on the scene and he quickly assessed the situation and called the TMC to dispatch EMS. He then picked the driver up off the ground and moved her to his truck and provided care until EMS arrived. Afterward, he set up traffic control for the emergency responders.

Wiechens stated that he was shocked when he received an award for simply doing his job.

“I did not do anything that another Motorist Assistant Operator would not have done. We are out there on the highways every day to help and serve the public. I did, however, find it very considerate for the Commission to present me with this award and I am truly honored,” said Wiechens.


Hospital Honors Employee for Promoting Healthier Lifestyles

Living a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge when being faced with many fast food choices, a lack of time for exercising and raising small children. Jennifer Riegel, a St. Louis senior design technician, refused to let any of those circumstances hinder her from converting to a healthier lifestyle. Because of her commitment, she was awarded the 2014 Healthy Woman Award from St. Luke’s Hospital.

2014 Healthy Woman Awardees from St. Luke's Hospital
Jennifer Riegel (far left) was among four women to recieve the 2014 Healthy Woman Award from St. Luke's Hospital in October.

The St. Luke’s Healthy Woman Award recognizes and celebrates women who not only take steps to improve their own health, but also inspire to better health in their community.

Riegel used a tragic event in her life as a catalyst to improve her health. After surviving a head on collision with a drunk driver, she was left with serious injuries and underwent multiple surgeries. Overweight and out of shape shortly after completing months of physical therapy, she pushed herself to lose 50 pounds the sensible way – exercising and eating right.

“Jennifer is an inspiration to all of us. Even though she still has pain from her accident, you would never know it when you see her. She is truly a success story of recovery and renewal,” said Debra Kohler, senior design technician and colleague that nominated Riegel for the award.

At work Riegel takes pride in assisting co-workers with developing personal fitness plans, finding healthy recipes, and exercising on breaks. She is also a certified group exercise instructor.

“Earning this award has really inspired me to keep going with what I truly believe in. I love my new lifestyle of staying healthy and keeping fit. I also love and will continue helping others reach their new lifestyle goals,” said Riegel.


For more info

Marie Elliott
Customer Relations Manager
St. Louis District

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