Volusia County woman to be honored for saving lineman’s life after Hurricane Ian

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Florida. – A woman is branded a hero for saving the life of a shocked lineman while working in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. City of New Smyrna Beach officials will honor Casey Shaw at their committee meeting on Tuesday with a lifesaving award.

On October 2, two fitters were working to restore power in the Venetian Bay neighborhood when they were both shocked – one suffered minor injuries, but the other lost consciousness.

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Residents said they heard the boom, then ran to the nearest person they knew they could help.

“I hear a very loud knocking on my door and it was a neighbor saying someone had been electrocuted. You have to run,” Casey Shaw said.

Shaw, a registered nurse, lives across Airport Road from the electrical transformer box. After opening the door, she answered the call for help.

“I had never done CPR in the field before. I always used to be in intensive care with monitors and doctors and everything around me so it was very scary but my instincts kicked in and I checked his pulse. Couldn’t feel a pulse,” she said.

Neighbors watched Shaw begin CPR on Zach Halpin.

“I saw someone laying there and someone ran, and I just saw her doing CPR and stuff, and I was like oh my God, someone knows what to do because I knew that I didn’t know,” neighbor Victoria Coombs said.

Shaw said luckily one of the other utility workers pulled a defibrillator out of his truck.

“He needed to be shocked, so we delivered a shock, and I continued CPR, switching off with another fitter until paramedics arrived,” she said.

Three weeks later, Halpin is finally released from the hospital. His family told News 6 that 20 per cent of his body had been burned and he was now struggling to regain his mobility.

Zach Halpin, a lineman who was shocked while working in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian (Risa Halpin)

“He sent me a Facebook friend request the other day, and I almost started crying because I was so thrilled he was okay,” Shaw said.

Shaw, now hailed as a hero in New Smyrna Beach, will receive a lifesaving award from the city’s fire chief on Tuesday.

“I don’t feel like I necessarily deserved it because I was just trying to help someone, but I’m really flattered and honored by the recognition,” she said.

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