Quentin Neal Sr., an acting transportation operations supervisor, was on duty one day last summer in a Kansas City, MO, neighborhood when he came upon a crisis:
An apartment building was in flames, and residents were trapped while waiting for emergency responders to arrive.
Upon hearing a man scream for help from an upper-floor window, Neal rushed to the fire escape but found the ladder stuck.
The Postal Service employee safely leaped onto the fire escape and climbed to the window, where he was able to guide two residents and a dog to safety.
Another trapped resident feared heights and couldn’t navigate the fire escape, so Neal obtained a roofing ladder next door and used it to rescue the woman, assuring her, “Everything’s going to be OK, I’m right here,” as he helped her climb down.
Firefighters soon arrived to battle the blaze.
Neal later told the local NBC affiliate that his law enforcement background conditioned him to assist people — a quality he brings to his postal career.
“With the Post Office, you’re helping people get their medicine, helping people pay their bills, helping people do other things,” he said.
“You don’t come to work thinking, ‘Hey, I could save some people from a fire.’ But that was just part of the job.”