- Kevin Pugh, the driver of a front-load recycling truck who has been with Republic Services for eight years, has been credited with helping save the life of a motorist in Sacramento, CA.
- In late June, Pugh was sitting at a red light and noticed a car roll through the intersection with an unconscious man behind the wheel. While another person called 911, he checked the man's pulse and performed CPR compressions until an ambulance arrived.
- The man ultimately survived after further treatment at the hospital and returned home to his family.
Republic Sacramento's general manager later received a call from the survivor's wife praising Pugh's quick-thinking medical aid.
"The doctor told me that if it weren’t for Kevin performing CPR, my husband would not be here today. We are so blessed and thanking the Lord every day. Kevin is my husband’s guardian angel," she told the manager.
Pugh is the latest in a series of waste industry employees who have stepped in to assist with CPR when they saw people in need. In Florida, a driver for Waste Pro USA performed it on a 1-year-old boy who was unconscious in a pool, and in Pennsylvania a driver for Advanced Disposal performed it on an unconscious motorist near one of this stops.
Because of their regular presence in neighborhoods, waste collectors have taken on a number of additional roles in recent years, such as assisting law enforcement, rescuing animals, and helping the homeless. While the challenges of their daily work aren't often appreciated, these moments are a good opportunity to recognize the important roles garbage haulers play in their communities.