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Tim Riggs will never forget the kindness and support shown him by the Davis family, which owns Fidelity, after he was seriously injured on the job in August 1995.
While extending cable in Rolla in a hydraulic bucket, he accidentally grabbed an electrified guy wire and wound up falling 25 feet to the pavement below. His back was broken in two places and he later lost his right hand after an artery ruptured.
“I grabbed a downed guy wire that was touching electric at the top of the pole,” he remembered. When he grabbed a cable with his other hand, high voltage went surging through his body. “I couldn’t get loose, so I jumped. The impact saved my life.” He sustained exit wounds to his side, behind one knee and one armpit.
Both hands were badly burned. “I spent most of the next year in the hospital,” he said. “Had close to 80 surgeries. It was a rough recovery.” It appeared he might lose both hands until he found a good hand specialist who saved his left hand. “But I still only have 25 percent use of it to this day,” Tim said.
Riggs retired recently after 30 years with Fidelity. “One of the things I remember most is the way the Davises treated me after the accident,” he said. “They were really great. The whole Davis family has always been really nice to me.”
Upon his return, he moved to an engineering position, most recently in Outside Engineering, and worked another 20 years. Many co-workers dropped by his retirement party at the Rolla Warehouse Nov. 6 for fried fish, venison, cake and to wish him well.
Riggs has also seen technology change by leaps and bounds over 30 years. “That’s what really blows me away,” he said. “When I started we had channels 2-13. But things kept improving and Fidelity was always right on the leading edge.”
Now that he’s retired, he’ll stay busy working two family farms in the Lake Spring area with wife Wendy—who is still a supervisor at Fidelity—raising Angus cattle, hunting, fishing and loving life.
“I really want to thank those who stood beside me during my recovery from the accident and those that became like a family to me. To the Davis family, again thank you for the opportunity to be part of such a great company,“ he said.