WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Letter carriers who emptied burning buildings, rescued a boy from a predator, saved a heart attack victim or brightened holidays will be honored Sept. 10.
Connecticut letter carrier Jermaine Shirley, who smelled smoke in an apartment building one morning, alerted residents and caught two young children thrown from a window as fire engulfed the building, is the 2014 National Hero of the Year. Peoria, IL, carriers Cristy Perfetti and Steve Plunkett, Unit Citation recipients, rescued a boy abducted at knifepoint, brought him to safety in their post office and trailed the suspect, who had prior convictions for crimes against children and soon returned to prison. Victor Green, a New York metro area carrier, will posthumously receive the Legacy Award for helping a generation of black Americans travel safely and without shame in pre-civil-rights-era America by publishing an annual travel guide to inns and private homes that accepted African-Americans.
Several other carriers also are being recognized as heroes. They represent thousands of letter carriers who not only deliver the mail to 150 million households and businesses six days a week, but often assist in situations involving accidents, fires, crimes or health crises.
Western Region Hero Steve Filson of Oregon saved the life of a man suffering heart failure. Central Region Hero Jim Rurik of Columbus, OH, smothered the burning clothes of a fire victim with his postal jacket; then evacuated all residents of the building. Eastern Region Hero Robert George of Worcester, MA, an Air Force veteran, pulled a driver to safety before the man’s crashed truck burst into flames. Humanitarian of the Year Orlando Gonzales of New York City organized an annual walk of letter carriers to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Carriers in Reading, PA, who’ve provided holiday necessities for a decade, will receive the Branch Service Award.
The NALC Heroes of the Year will be honored by Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers, at a special luncheon at noon Sept. 10 in the National Press Club Ballroom, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC. Go to http://nalc.org/heroes for further information on the Heroes.
The NALC represents letter carriers across the country. Its 280,000 members make it the largest of the four unions representing employees of the United States Postal Service. Founded by Civil War veterans in 1889, the NALC is among the country’s oldest labor unions.