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Waste Management worker saves elderly woman on Christmas Eve

Posted at 7:19 PM, Dec 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-24 19:19:26-05

ROTONDA, Fla. — A close call, just in time for Christmas. Waste Management said one of their drivers saved the life of an elderly woman in Rontonda early Tuesday morning.

Christmas Eve started as a typical day for Juan Fernandez. Pick up, load the truck, and move on to the next house. But, when he got to Boundary Boulevard, he noticed something different.

“When I looked, I saw a lady on the ground. She couldn’t even move,” he said.

It was a woman who’s about 80 years old. She wouldn’t talk on camera, but told Fox 4 she fell when she went to get her newspaper just before 5:00 Tuesday morning. She said she was stuck there until Fernandez showed up about an hour later. She was only wearing a robe as she laid on the cold ground.

Fernandez’s supervisor James Herd said the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office does an annual “Waste Watch” training with the company, and shows them what to look out for.

“If it wasn’t for his quick thinking, and the training we provided for him, she might not have made it,” he said. “We watch for things like an elderly person who needs help, suspicious activity - whether it be drugs, people breaking an entering.”

Fernandez said calling 9-1-1 and waiting with the woman for first responders to show up was a no brainer.

“Take care of people. If you see something, you can help,” he said.

First responders helped the woman back inside. Fernandez made it home to be with his family for Christmas, but not before he finished his route.