Union Pacific Engineering Employee Honored by Springfield Police for Lifesaving Effort

Gutmann stands with members of Springfield community for award | LR

From left, Springfield Police Chief Ken Scarlette, Union Pacific Engineering Foreperson Nate Gutmann, Springfield Police Officer William Meacham and Springfield Mayor Misty Buscher.

Union Pacific Railroad employee Nate Gutmann was recently honored for his lifesaving efforts in Springfield, Illinois, where he intervened to save a community member in crisis. Exemplifying the railroad’s commitment to community safety, Gutmann earned the Springfield Police Department's Civilian Certificate of Appreciation.

Gutmann, signal maintainer foreperson, noticed the distraught individual walking on a railroad overpass and immediately contacted Track Inspector Nate Allen. Allen called 911 and alerted train dispatchers to halt local train movement.

Nate Gutmann and Officer Meacham recognized for lifesaving | MR

The Springfield Police Department honored Gutmann, left, and Meacham for their lifesaving efforts.

As Gutmann calmly engaged the community member, he was soon joined by Springfield Police Officer William Meacham. When the individual lunged forward, Gutmann and Meacham acted swiftly, pulling the young person to safety.

“Everything I did was about helping him and Officer Meacham, trying to be safe in the heat of the moment and doing the right thing,” Gutmann said.

The Springfield Police Department commended both Gutmann and Meacham for their exemplary courage, with Police Chief Ken Scarlette praising their quick thinking.

“This was a team effort in every way, with dispatchers being diligent, train crews responding to all-stop, Mr. Allen helping stop trains and Officer Meacham serving and protecting his community,” Gutmann said.

Gutmann said his Union Pacific training prepared him for situations involving stopping trains, collaborating with law enforcement and staying in the clear.

“This was a different scenario than the dozens of times I have dealt with trespassers before, but the process of doing the right thing effectively and safely is always there and ingrained in us,” Gutmann said.

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. If you, your family or others need assistance, please contact the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline - call or text 988 to get immediate, free and confidential support from a trained counselor.

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