Mailmen rescue elderly man during Sandy

PHILADELPHIA - November 8, 2012

82-year-old Terry Miller lives alone in the Torresdale section of Philadelphia and depends on a wheelchair to get around.

He fell after losing power last Tuesday during Hurricane Sandy.

"I guess it was around 2:00 or 2:30 a.m.," he said. "There's nobody on the street at that time, so I just had to lie there, and when it got to daylight, then I started to yell for help."

Miller knew that eventually his mailman would stop by.

Mailman Dan Bailer arrived around 12:30 that afternoon, after close to ten hours on the floor.

"When I was inter-slotting his mail, I heard a man yell 'Help'," said Bailer. "I heard it again. He said the door was open, so I opened the door, came in, and that's when I found Mr. Miller laying on the floor."

"And when he came through the door, it was a blessing; a real blessing," said Miller.

Dan called 9-1-1 and stayed with Miller until the paramedics arrived.

But Bailer was filling in that day for Miller's regular mailman, Mike Petroski, who heard about the incident and immediately went to Miller's house.

"We've been together for about 12 years, not quite as long as me and my wife," said Petroski.

When Mike realized Mr. Miller wouldn't have electricity for several days, he insisted he stay with him.

"I wasn't going to let him stay with no heat or food," said Petroski.

The familiar mailman's motto seems suitable here, because "neither snow, nor rain, nor heat nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

But more appropriate is perhaps this: if they come upon their fellow man in need, the very best will respond and sacrifice for the chance to change or save another's life.

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