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Giving helpers a hand

Union honors letter carriers’ heroism

Johnstown, PA, Letter Carrier Matthew Lamb, recipient of the NALC’s National Hero of the Year Award, was honored this week in Washington, DC.

A Postal Service employee who rescued a grandmother and grandson from a raging house fire in Johnstown, PA, received the top hero of the year award from the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) this week.

“After hearing everyone’s stories, it’s extremely humbling, and it’s truly an honor,” Letter Carrier Matthew Lamb told the audience at the union’s annual luncheon in Washington, DC.

The NALC also honored three regional heroes: Donte Cotton of Kettering, OH, who crawled through shattered glass to rescue a toddler from an overturned car; Daniel Ochoa of Chino, CA, who extinguished a house fire with swimming pool water; and Clinton Parker of Waterbury, CT, who helped police peacefully resolve an armed standoff.

PMG Megan J. Brennan, one of the special guests at the event, thanked the award recipients for their contributions.

“These heroic acts are a testament to the positive impact letter carriers and other postal employees have on their communities, each and every day,” she said.

Other honorees were:

  • Deborah Ochetti of Burnsville, MN, for bone marrow donation advocacy
  • Holly Allen of Ripley, WV, for helping a customer stranded after a fall
  • A Springfield, IL, branch office, for rallying around a girl with muscular dystrophy whose family couldn’t afford a wheelchair-accessible van
  • James McKay and Evelyn Woodward of Grand Rapids, MI, for providing life-saving first aid to a co-worker

After the luncheon, Matthew Lamb and his wife, Victoria, reflected on the flurry of recognition he’s received since the fateful day of the fire.

“Our community is definitely talking about it. They’re very proud of him,” Victoria said.

“It’s exciting,” Matthew added. “At work, though, you just get guys ribbing you for all the attention,” including his brother, a fellow letter carrier.

“He’s about done with it,” Matthew said with a chuckle.

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