Inspiring story of a UPS driver who delivered a package and saved a life.
It was after lunch. The mercury stood in the single digits, and a stiff wind blew out of the north. UPS driver Brian McDowell traveled along his rural route near Defiance, in northwest Ohio, making afternoon deliveries.
A UPS driver is recognized for his heroics on a cold, not-so-routine day.
At his next stop, McDowell noticed something odd lying in the yard.
"I thought it was a rolled-up tarp," McDowell recalls.
He walked to the house and made the delivery. On his way back, the object caught the driver's attention again. Something just didn't look right. He had to take a closer look. He walked up and noticed ... feet.
An elderly gentleman was lying face down in the snow and wasn't moving.
"I was really afraid he was dead," says McDowell. "It was so cold outside."
The UPS driver approached the man and asked, "Sir, are you OK? Do you think you can get up?"
Before the ambulance arrived
The man tried to roll over but screamed and stayed where he was.
McDowell called 911 and spoke with the emergency operator. He relayed that the man had hurt his back and was very cold. The operator assured them that help was on the way.
McDowell asked the man: "Do you have anything in the garage to cover up with?"
"I don't know."
McDowell went into the garage but couldn't find anything that would help keep the man warm.
"Sir? Do you mind if I check in the house?"
With approval, McDowell went inside and found a blanket on the living room couch. He covered the man with it. Turns out, the man had been in the snow for two or three hours.
When EMS arrived, about a half-hour later, McDowell asked if they needed him for anything.
"No," they said. "You did a great job."
The aftermath: a family's appreciation
That night, McDowell called the hospital to check on the man. He spoke with his son.
"His back is sore, but he's alive and doing well," he reported. "Thank you, for what you did."
A few days later, the man's wife called the center to thank McDowell. He reports: "She said the doctors told her the man's body temperature was so low he couldn't have lasted much longer."
If McDowell hadn't taken the extra moment to check on something that didn't look right to him, the situation could have ended much differently.
"I didn't really do much," McDowell says. "But, I'm glad I was there for him and his family."
Liberty Mutual didn't agree with his modest assessment. Instead, the insurance company awarded McDowell a Life Saver Award, which Liberty Mutual established in 1922, and McDowell was also recognized by UPS for his heroics on that cold, not-so-routine day.