The term “hero” has been used a lot lately. With the ongoing COVID-19 virus first responders are often referred to as heroes, and rightly so. Often, the first responders to dire emergencies aren’t necessarily fire, EMS, or law enforcement, but rather security officers.
Communities all over the nation have come to rely on security providers to come to their aid in the event of an emergency. They are the “boots on the ground.” Their rapid response and knowledge of how to respond, places many a security officer in hero territory.
Our Own Hero
Recently, one of our own BOS Security officers valiantly stepped into the role of hero when he responded to a resident’s pleas for help. Raymon Harris provides security at Bethel Midtown Village in Athens, Georgia. This community offers low-income, affordable housing for area families and has a total of 190 units.
Over the weekend of April 25-26, 2020, a fire broke out in the home of one of Bethel Midtown Village’s residents. The unit was on the upper floor of a three-story building. As Officer Harris was making his rounds, he heard a man hollering for help. Officer Harris couldn’t see the fire, but as he responded, he saw flames coming out of an upper-level window.
At this point, Officer Harris instructed his partner, Officer Shedrick Crumbey, to stay downstairs and call 911. On this particularly windy evening, Officer Harris was concerned for the safety of other residents in the building as well, as the apartment could easily become further engulfed.
Upon entering the unit, masked as required amid the pandemic, Officer Raymon Harris assisted in getting the fire under control so that he could get the residents to safety. As he steered those inside the unit out the door and down the stairs, Officer Harris heard someone screaming, “There’s babies in here!” Through thick smoke that had started to fill the home, Officer Harris found the two children, picked them up, and got them to safety. This is a hero.
Here now, Officer Raymon Harris explains why he believes “What I do matters”:
What I do matters because…
I am responsible for keeping families safe and secure. The residents rely on BOS Security, and me, to keep trouble away from their homes.
The most rewarding part of my job is…
Knowing I did a well-done job. Keeping everyone safe and keeping the “bad guys” away from these families is rewarding. Teamwork and communication are important. I communicate with my team and with the residents, and they know me. They feel safe because I’m there.
What are you most proud of at work?
For me, how I communicate with the residents is important. We need to feel we can talk to one another. I’m familiar with the residents and their kids, their families. When they get used to developing a relationship with me, I can encourage them. I like to mentor the young people, give them hope. I always tell them “one day, life will get better.”