Supporting Customers

Not All Heroes Wear Capes

April 24, 2024

Earlier this year, ComEd held a ceremony for heroic employees who joined the “101 Club”– a special cohort of employees who’ve gone above and beyond to protect the people we serve in communities across northern Illinois. ComEd’s 101 Club class of 2024 included 61 employees who have exhibited exemplary performance and behaviors in support of the company’s core values, taking action to prevent an event that would interfere with safety and reliable electrical service.

Several ComEd leaders were on hand to induct the newest 101 Club, which included a diverse mix of employees representing areas across the business and the service region covered by ComEd.

“ComEd is an organization that runs 24/7/365, in which our employees embody the culture of safety that is integral to the way we work and serve our communities,” said Dave Perez, ComEd executive vice president and COO. “Our employees demonstrate that their commitment to the communities they serve goes above and beyond the call of duty while on the job. They are taking heroic actions every day to look out for their neighbors.”

Read a few of the breathtaking stories of ComEd employees interceding to keep others safe.

left to right, Ruben Varela, senior engineer, Mark Baranek, senior vice president of technical services

Ruben Varela

On July 12, 2023, while driving home from work on a cloudy afternoon, Ruben Varela, senior engineer, noticed a dangerous sight in the Lyons area. The roof of a building had blown off and had likely hit the nearby electric poles because the poles were leaning and high voltage wires were laying across the road next to a ComEd substation. Ruben saw a public vehicle drive over the curb and onto the grass to avoid the downed wires, and others beginning to follow suit. That’s when Ruben parked safely, exited his vehicle, put on his PPE (personal protective equipment), and stopped the drivers behind him from approaching the downed wires. After securing the scene, Ruben directed traffic away from the leaning poles and wires. He remained on the scene until an overhead electrical specialist, a first responder, could de-energize the wires and the local public works crews arrived to manage traffic.


left to right, Carla Frieh, vice president of transmission and substation engineering, Jason Kuhrt, crew leader

Jason Kuhrt

On September 12, 2023, Jason Kuhrt, crew leader serving the community of Glenbard, was coaching his son’s 5th-6th grade football practice in Plano when he noticed that one of the children did not get back up after a drill. Jason quickly approached and noticed the player was not moving or breathing. While one coach began performing CPR, Jason directed another coach to call 911 and another to go out front to direct the ambulance to the field. He then ran to the maintenance building to get the AED (automated external defibrillator), a portable device used to treat cardiac arrest. Using the AED, Jason and another coach were able to revive the player, who began to breathe. Jason and the other coaches stayed with the player until the paramedics arrived to transport him to the hospital, where he stayed the night. The student returned home the next day and plans to play this coming season.


Ricardo Cervantes

On the afternoon of December 6, 2023, Ricardo Cervantes, overhead electrical specialist serving the Highland Park area, was parked in his work truck while awaiting orders from dispatch when he noticed an elderly woman walking to her car. She turned on her vehicle and put it in reverse, but when she noticed her gas cap was off, she got out of the car without putting the vehicle back in park. With the car still in reverse, the woman fell to the ground, grabbed onto the car door, and began being dragged by the moving vehicle. Ricardo immediately jumped out of his work truck, rushed over to the car, and engaged the brake pedal by hand. The woman was able to emerge from the car with only minor injuries, thanking Ricardo for coming to her rescue and stopping the car.


We thank Ruben, Jason, Ricardo and the other 58 inductees to the 2024 class of the 101 Club who took proactive actions in the face of danger in and out of the workplace to ensure the well-being of community members. We also recognize the many other ComEd employees in prior 101 Club cohorts, and those whose stories have yet to be told, for their commitment to powering and saving lives across northern Illinois. Thank you for your service!