Metro Public Works employee recognized for winter storm rescue

Metro Public Works employee recognized for winter storm rescue
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 5:38 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - On December 22, Le’Roy Ford was at the wheel of a city truck, plowing roads and spreading 20 tons of salt during a rare arctic blast that had brought near blizzard conditions and plunging temperatures.

”It was weird that night because visibility was extremely limited,” Ford said. “It was really hard to see. All you could tell was headlights of cars. Didn’t know where they were going or which way they were moving.”

That’s when the Metro Public Works equipment operator encountered a car partially in a ditch on Six Mile Lane.

Inside was a toddler and her father, who could not speak English. They were stranded, and the man was unable to call for help.

”He pulled out his phone and he used Google Translate,” Ford said. “So what he had me do was speak into his phone. And then he would read it and give me a yes or no, thumbs up or thumbs down.”

Ford radioed for assistance and maneuvered his truck to block the lane and prevent other cars from sliding into the stranded pair. He told them to stay in the car with the heater going, while he kept watch outside in the elements until LMPD arrived to assist.

Getting back into his heated truck never crossed his mind.

”It just wasn’t in me,” Ford said. “My job is public service, so I felt the need to sit there and help him. I’m a father myself, so it’s definitely something that came to my mind when I pulled up there, you know. He’s got a little girl back there, I’ve got a little girl. It’s father and father right now.”

Ford’s actions were recognized in a tweet by Mayor Craig Greenberg which said in part, “Join me in thanking Leroy for his swift act of compassion!,”

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After the father and daughter were safely away, Ford returned to the challenging job of clearing 37 miles of city roads.