Public employees across the nation give back to their communities in extraordinary ways every single day. From donating to food banks to helping neighbors and protecting their communities, public employees have always been there when their community needs them the most. 

Here are stories of public employees in service to their communities.

Off-duty firefighter rescues 4 people from house fire in Louisville’s Clifton neighborhood by When Kody Jones, 17-year veteran and Captain with the Louisville Fire Department was heading to work on Thursday, February 3, he noticed a building fire off in the distance and rushed to help. When Kodyarrived on the scene, he immediately jumped to action and saved three adults and an infant who were in the structure, which included a woodworking shop, a metalworking shop, and a home. “Once they were out, he proceeded to call 911 as well, confirmed that he was a Louisville firefighter and provided additional important information for our crews as they were being dispatched and pulling up on scene — he gave us some critical information,” said Major Bobby Cooper of the Louisville Fire Department. “As a 17-year captain, he’s pretty knowledgeable on the fire ground and was able to help the fire trucks and the fire engines as they were pulling on the scene to establish good positioning to begin a fire attack.” This firefighter is a hero in his community. 

Maryland crossing guard struck by car protecting student, video shows by Matt Pusatory. In early February, a video went viral on social media of a crossing guard saving a student’s life in Cecil County, Maryland. That crossing guard was Corporal Annette Goodyear of the North East Police Department. A 14-year veteran of the police force, Goodyear was on her regular crossing guard shift when a car sped through the pedestrian crosswalk just as a student was crossing. Springing to action, Goodyear pushed the child out of the crosswalk and was hit by the car herself. The student was unharmed, and Goodyear was later discharged from the hospital with minor injuries. In a second article written by Sydney Page of the Washington Post, Goodyear commented, “This is a kid, and I’m an adult. No matter what happens, you got to protect that child and make sure that child is safe. That was the only thing that was going through my mind. If I have to take the brunt of it, that’s what’s going to happen.” Goodyear was later honored by Governor Larry Hogan with a citation for her bravery. 

Savannah’s Community Health Advocate Program announces the first 10 graduates by the Savannah Business Journal. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, community organizations are doing their best to educate residents on the importance of getting vaccinated. In Savannah, Georgia, Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia are doing just that. Utilizing funding from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant, ten volunteers received their certification as Savannah Community Health Advocates. These ten volunteers, who completed a 15-hour volunteer service requirement before branching out in their communities, set up tables at community events, hand out giveaways, and provide critical information to members of the community about the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu. Pat Edwards, who is a social worker and one of the ten graduates, commented, “The biggest thing I learned from training was providing folks with accurate information. You have to meet people where they are. When I talk to people, they know I care. If you preach to them, they will tune you out.” 

Be sure to check back the week after next for more stories of public employees giving back to their communities!