Author and inspirational speaker Robert Clancy said, “We all have the capacity to be a superhero. In order to become one, you just have to find your unique power or ability and exploit it for the greater good. The cape and mask are optional accessories, but a kind heart is essential.”
South Kentucky RECC Clinton County Service Technician Ricky Fletcher has found his very unique ability and delights in exploiting it for the greater good.
And, while he doesn’t feel he is a superhero, nor does he wear a cape or mask, at times he does wear a hard hat, safety glasses, and rubber gloves and sleeves; he does wear a fire helmet and turn out jacket; or he does wear face paint. No matter what he is wearing, Fletcher goes above and beyond what is asked to bring a bit of assistance or joy to others.
In August, Fletcher will have been an employee of South Kentucky RECC for 12 years. During that time, he has put in many hours building electric lines to Clinton County homes, or restoring power to members following storms.
While he does his “normal” dayto- day duties, that’s when Fletcher dons a hard hat, safety glasses, rubber gloves and sleeves, and all the necessary personal protective equipment that is required of an employee working with high-voltage electricity.
What many don’t know is that the Funsters’ primary purpose is to promote fun and laughter in people of all ages; however, their main focus is children. They are an organization of clowns that help raise money to support the children at Norton Children’s Hospital, formerly known as Kosair Children’s Hospital, in Louisville, and Shriner’s Hospital, in Lexington. The money raised by the Funsters helps fund such things as medical bills and treatment and illness research.
Fletcher says he puts on his makeup and goes to the hospital, traveling from Clinton County to Louisville, as much as one Sunday a month.
“It means so much to be able to bring a smile to even just one child’s face. This is a voluntary position, so that is my payment. Or to be able to bring a brief bit of joy to an entire family that is going through a difficult time. It’s truly a blessing to me, as much as it is for them.”
Fletcher says he likes being part of an organization that, over the last two decades, has been able to donate more than $90 million to provide healthcare and research for ill or injured children, and brought much-needed relief to thousands of Kentucky families.
Fletcher’s duties don’t stop there, though. He has also been a volunteer firefighter and first responder with the Burkesville (Kentucky) Fire Department for nearly 25 years. Recently, Fletcher was able to put his training to the test in a very real emergency situation.
On April 17, Fletcher was at the South Kentucky RECC office in Clinton County keying time, when he heard a call go out on the scanner for Clinton County EMS regarding an unresponsive 3-year-old child that was choking. The address was very close to the Clinton County office, and according to Fletcher, instinct just kicked in.
“When I realized how close I was and that I could probably get there before EMS, I jumped into my vehicle and left. I notified 911, who was on the phone with the child’s parent, that I was a first responder and on the way.
“When I arrived at the home, I was told the child was choking on a piece of a hot dog and had been without oxygen long enough that he had turned blue. So, I took the boy from his mother, turned him upside down with his legs under my arm, as we are taught to do, and began to strike him between the shoulder blades to dislodge the hot dog.”
Fortunately, Fletcher was able to get the child breathing before EMS arrived.
Dennis Holt, SKRECC vice-president of Engineering and Operations, says Fletcher is a good example to us all.
“Ricky’s response saved the child’s life. We are extremely proud of him. It takes a special individual to donate their time to help others. As a volunteer firefighter and Funster, Ricky is making a difference in the community and in the lives of sick and injured children.”
Holt adds that this is what South Kentucky RECC was built on—making a difference in the lives of the people of its communities—and every employee of South Kentucky RECC is a hero in their own way and strives to accomplish this.