Met-Ed Crews Help Challenged Individual ‘Go the Extra Mile’

June 11, 2020

FirstEnergy field personnel often are our eyes and ears in the community. Met-Ed line workers in York, Pa. recently demonstrated that they also can help serve as the company’s conscience.

While working on a line construction project, York crew members befriended Danny, a challenged individual who regularly rides around the area on a special bicycle.

“Danny’s a fixture in the neighborhood,” said Lead Lineman Rick Miller. “He can’t drive, and his bicycle is his only means of transportation. It’s not just any old bike. It has a small motor as well as pedals. He visits the fire station and other places around the neighborhood all the time.”

Crew members got to know Danny when he worked for a contract cleaning crew that provided service to the York facility.

“He was really shy, but as he hung around, he became more outgoing and opened up,” said Rick. “We learned that he’d never had a birthday party, so one evening we threw him a little birthday party. Nothing special or elaborate. It just gave us the opportunity to get to know him better.”

The cleaning crew and Danny moved on, but York crews have kept up with him as he travels the neighborhood on his specialized bike.

“Recently our linemen saw Danny and noticed that his bike tires were in really poor shape,” said Lead Lineman Fred Kottmyer. “When they came back and told us, we knew we had to fix up his bike and get Danny som​e new tires.”

The crew put out collection cans. One employee’s wife and daughter baked cookies to help raise funds to help outfit Danny’s bike. In all, the line workers raised more than $200. “We went to the local bike shop and got a gift card,” Rick said. “We told them, ‘If this isn’t enough, let us know, we’ll take care of it.’”

Danny got new tires, and his bike got an overhaul. The story might have ended there had it not been for the letter from local firefighter Tony Sawyer:

“I wanted to bring to your attention a kind act that was done by the Met-Ed crew…” the letter began. Tony went on to tell about Danny, noting, “Danny will make many stops during his day at places like the local firehouse, police stations… where he will talk with the individuals working there. Danny is always welcome, and these folks take time to converse with him and make him feel comfortable.”

After he received the tires, Danny had ridden straight to the fire station to show off his bike, and what our workers had done to help.

People throwing a few dollars into a can does not seem like a big deal,” Tony concluded, “but for Danny it means that he still has his freedom to ride his bike safely and see his friends. I personally would like to say ‘Thank You’…”

Curtis Christenson, general manager, Regional Operations Services, commended the Met-Ed employees for helping Danny. “It’s a very benevolent group,” he said. “Our York line workers have a long tradition of giving to community members and to coworkers going through hardship. Our folks travel around the community a lot, and whenever they see a need they always want to step up. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Fred added: “It was nice of Tony to send the letter, but that’s not why we do it. We take a lot of pride in what we do, where we work and in our community. We feel good helping. If people notice our pride, and if it helps them want to act too, then that’s all the better.”