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Billings man honored for saving life of Pioneer Park electric-shock victim

John Putz was given the Outstanding Citizen Award
Posted at 2:34 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 16:34:13-05

John Putz was honored with the Billings Police Department's Outstanding Citizen Award Monday for performing actions that saved the life of a woman who touched an exposed, live power line at Pioneer Park on June 29.

"I just thank you so much for saving my life," said survivor Chaney Little Light.

Billings Police Chief Rich St. John presented Putz with the award at a Billings City Council meeting.

Little Light, a Billings mother of two, was exercising in Pioneer Park at the time of the severe electric shock. She was enjoying the park before a busy Fourth of July weekend at her serving job.

“Little did I know that that power line was on the ground," Little Light said.

Putz saw Little Light grab the wire and was the first to rush to her aid.

“The victim, who was still in contact with the power line,was unconscious and unresponsive from the electrocution and at great risk of dying," St. John said.

Putz pried Little Light's grip from the wire using a plastic pen. He then gave her CPR until first responders arrived.

“With little regard for his personal safety, Mr. Putz calmly and safely pulled the victim off the wire and began life saving efforts," St. John said.

After St. John presented a plaque to Putz, Little Light took the council podium to speak.

“If he wouldn’t have been there, I probably wouldn’t be here tonight in front of you all," Little Light said. "So, from the bottom of my heart and my family’s, I thank you for giving selflessly to me and not thinking twice about what you did. And you are a hero to, I think, your own family and also to mine. And I just thank you so much for saving my life.”

In July, Northwestern Energy told Q2 that it owned the exposed wire that electrocuted Little Light. The energy company could not say why the wire was exposed in the first place.