True American Hero: On Birthday, HF Operator Saves Woman’s Life, Rescues Dog From Burning House

American heroes walk among us in our communities and neighborhoods each and every day. They put others selflessly before themselves, rarely seeking the credit or recognition they rightfully deserve for their graceful acts of goodness and service to others.

Hundreds of thousands of hard-working men and women across the nation work dutifully each day to safely produce and deliver homegrown oil and natural gas reserves to American consumers in the form of affordable, stable and reliable energy needed to grow our economy and to strengthen our nation.

These are rig-hands, roustabouts, and hydraulic fracturing experts — they’re our friends, family members and neighbors. And because of a selfless act of bravery this week, we can add one more classification to that list: citizen first responder, and American hero.

After completing a day’s work in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Marcellus Shale earlier this week, Billy Watts — a Cudd Energy Services employee — was on his way home to New York when he noticed a house that “was burning like crazy.” And while Mr. Watts may be fairly new to the area, he’s as good a neighbor as one could ask for. The Elmira Star-Gazette reports this under the headline “Newcomer to Elmira area helps rescue woman, pet from house fire”:

Billy Watts, who turned 37 Monday, was driving home on South Broadway from Troy at about 6 p.m. when he saw black smoke in the air. Watts, a hydrofracturing operator for Cudd Energy Services in Pennsylvania, pulled over and helped a volunteer firefighter at the scene before any fire trucks arrived.

A gas industry worker who recently moved to Wellsburg from Oklahoma got an unusual opportunity on his birthday Monday: the chance to save a life.

The pair went down the hill toward the burning home at 2726 South Broadway and saw a woman who looked to be in her 70s, Watts said.

“She was bent over the fence and couldn’t get out, couldn’t breathe.” A dog was with her, he said. Watts and the firefighter helped the woman and dog get away from the house. … Watts said he breathed in some smoke and felt congested from it, but otherwise he was fine. “It’s important for people to stop and try to help out,” Watts said, noting that other bystanders came by.

Sure, Mr. Watts recently moved to New York’s southern tier from Oklahoma to help safely and responsibly deliver clean-burning, job-creating natural gas from the Mighty Marcellus. But this selfless act of heroism underscores how committed our industry is to being good neighbors and partners. We should all take pause in Mr. Watts’ statement about this incident: “It’s important for people to stop and try to help out.”

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