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Rickey Thompson, Oakland, CA

Oakland, CA, Tractor Trailer Operator Rickey Thompson

Tractor Trailer Operator Rickey Thompson has a special role at the Oakland, CA, Processing and Distribution Center: He operates a shuttle to help ensure employees safely get to and from the closest public transit station.

One of his colleagues, Acting Health and Resource Management Specialist Regina Paje, recently saw firsthand just how seriously Thompson takes that responsibility.

Thompson had dropped off Paje at the station when a commotion alarmed her, causing her to step back into the shuttle momentarily — at which point gunfire erupted.

Thompson told the terrified Paje to duck and cover. When the shooting stopped, he assured her he would protect her as he maneuvered the shuttle away from the scene and warned bystanders to seek shelter and avoid the area.

He then alerted the plant manager and took Paje to another station, where he waited with her and comforted her until she boarded a train.

“That day I realized how truly good and kindhearted Rickey is,” Paje said later. “I was caught in an unfortunate situation, but thank God I was with the right person who served as my protector and my angel.”

She added: “My whole family will forever be indebted to him for his heroic deed.”

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