Evan Pope’s story has been a test of strength.

“I was working at Plant Branch in Milledgeville when it was still operational. In 2009, just after my 2-year anniversary, one of our ash hoppers had clogged and had to be opened up. When I did that, all the ash poured out onto the floor…the ash was between 800 and 1000 degrees. It melted my boot when it made contact. While one of my teammates went to get the proper PPE so we could free the air line, the temperature had risen 40 degrees in 10 minutes. By the time I started having a seizure it was 140 degrees and I fell right into the pile of ash. Took a helicopter ride to Grady and had an extended stay with 3rd degree burns covering a good portion of my body.”

Naturally, this event didn’t just leave scars on Evan’s body. Many things came to pass after that day that only made things seem even more bleak at the best of times. But where many a man might have crumbled, never to get back up again, Evan got back up, healed himself, and came out an even stronger individual. Today, he values even more the things that matter—spending time with his family, playing sports he loves to play (in Huntsville he played baseball for the Cubs, and they finished top three last year!), and bringing his A-Game to his work life. He has three children—“all of them completely different,” he stated emphatically—Braedon, 10, Adeline, 5, and Wyatt, 3. Evan loves to be outdoors, especially when he is spending time with his dad. “Wyatt likes to follow me around—and I love to do the same with my dad. I’ll follow him around because I know I’ll learn something from him. He has taught himself so many things.”

At work and in his personal life, Evan loves to get to teach. “My favorite part of the job is teaching people. I love passing on any knowledge. If someone wants to know something I know, I’ll teach it.”

Evan has now been at Murren for 2 years as a surveyor. When we asked Evan about his favorite fundamental, he said passionately: “Hands down, no question, my favorite fundamental is number 2—Think Safe. Work Safe. I know how a bad accident can break a family apart because I’ve lived it. I’m very outspoken during safety week and don’t have a problem telling someone when they’re being unsafe. I don’t want anyone to go through what I did.”

To the future generations, Evan says, “Stuff happens. Don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the past, just fix it, learn from it, and move forward.”

Evan: thanks for sharing your story, thanks for the effort you put into your craft, and thank you for your passionate commitment to keeping others safe. Happy Anniversary!

#murrenway #thinksafeworksafe #employeespotlight