What started as just another day on the job, quickly turned into a life-changing moment of swift action and heroism for Casella employees Zach Winship and Trustin Macalush.
On March 1, Winship, a driver out of the Olean, NY Hauling Division, and Macalush, who primarily works out of the Jamestown, NY Division, were flagged down along their route by a Franklinville police officer in need of desperate assistance. When they arrived on the scene the pair encountered a seriously injured 83-year-old resident trapped around the wheel of a tractor.
“We just went into motion to help,” described Winship.
“It’s one of those eye-opening experiences that you don’t see every day,” said Macalush. “I saw the cop wave us over and knew we needed to get out of the truck and give this guy a hand.”
With two extra sets of hands, the group was collectively able to lift the tractor, freeing the trapped individual from further harm and relocating him to safety.
“With their help in lifting the tractor, I was able to free the man,” explained Franklinville Police Chief Mark Slavinski in a letter of gratitude that described in detail the actions of the two Casella employees. “Without their quick assistance, I am sure the outcome would have been much different for the victim. I wish to send my sincere thanks and certainly appreciate their help, as does the family of the victim.”
“It gives us great pride to hear stories of our front-line employees going above and beyond within the communities they serve,” said Chairman and CEO John W. Casella. “Their actions demonstrate the daily commitment our employees make to living our core values of service, integrity, and civic responsibility.”
Both Winship and Macalush downplayed their actions that day, saying that they were simply “happy to be of assistance” and would react the same in any situation of need.
“Anytime there is a need in the community we are happy to help or lend a hand,” said Macalush, adding that whether it is an elderly customer struggling to shovel a driveway or a more urgent situation like March 1, his desire to be an active member of the community remains strong.
“We really are embedded in our communities. I have been working this route for a long time every Tuesday,” said Winship, a five-year Casella veteran, “I’m just glad we happened to be on the street at that time and were able to help right away.”