Josh Brickey, a mechanic with Allard Excavation in South Webster Ohio, showed courage, not on a basketball court, football field or fire station, but in a place decidedly less glamorous—on the side of the road.
He has had a long experience on the road—Brickey has been driving and working as a diesel mechanic on semi-trucks for nearly 20 years. Professionally, he takes care of around 15 semi trucks and around 50 pieces of equipment from skid steers to D9 Cat bulldozers.
Outside of his job, Brickey, 42, enjoys racing and riding. He loves the outdoors and is really happy he is not cooped up in an office somewhere. Actually, he admits that “getting to be outside all the time” is something he really enjoys about his job.
He loves some things a bit more—his family. “I have been married to my beautiful wife for 20 years now, and we have two boys,” Brickey says.
All in all, Brickey seems like an ordinary guy. It didn’t stop him from doing something extraordinary, though.
That one time on the road, when he didn’t have to, when no one expected him to, when no one was looking, Brickey did the right thing. The measure of one’s character, many say, is not what the person does when people are watching, but how he or she acts when people aren’t looking. From this point of view, Brickey is about as heroic as they come.
In June of 2017, Brickey was parked behind a dump trump that had broke down on the side of an exit ramp. As Brickley recalls, just then, a dump truck rolled down the exit ramp “noticeably slow.”
“He stopped, and I went to the driver’s side of the truck to see if the truck was having problems,” Brickey said. “He was talking out of his head, so I immediately knew something was wrong.”
The truck driver, Rooster, was having a heart attack. His body got hot and the left side of his body went numb.
Brickey sprung into action. He helped the man out of the truck and then went back into the dump truck—as it was rolling—to set the air brakes. Before he stopped it, the truck had rolled about 15 feet.
“I then packed him to my service truck and really didn’t think think twice,” Brickey said. “I just knew something was wrong, so I drove him over to Urgent Care about a half-mile away.”
The hospital staff brought out a wheelchair and took him inside. Brickey drove back to the exit ramp, where he had left Rooster’s truck and steered the truck, carrying hot asphalt, off the road.
“I really wasn’t nervous or anything; it was just instinct,” Brickey said. “I never even second-guessed myself. I just knew he was either having a heart attack, or a stroke, or something major.”
At the hospital, Rooster was immediately given Nitroglycerin and then transported to a cardiac facility where doctors placed stents in his arteries. Without Brickey’s quick intervention, the truck driver might have died.
“I guess I just did what I hope someone would do for me if I ever had a medical emergency,” Brickey said, humbly. “I don’t really think about it as helping to save his life. I did what I believe anyone with any common sense should do for another human being.”
Some heroes sink a winning shot at the buzzer or throw the touchdown pass to win the game with time running out. Others put their lives on the line in battle, fight fires or enforce the law. Other types of heroes are less prominent, but just as important. Whoever your hero, and whatever “hero” means to you, we want to hear about it.
Take this opportunity to recognize (and celebrate!) the incredible people in your life. Nominate your Hard Hat Hero today!