Over the course of my career I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with some great people.  Currently I work as a CFO for a trucking operation in Portland, OR–Bridgetown Enterprises, Inc.  I want to pass along this story of how one of our employees went the extra mile in saving a life at one of our customer’s site.

Company president, Dave Chalmers, had this to say about Anthony Williams and his heroic effort: “I couldn’t be more proud of Anthony. His actions embody the values of our company– we care about our customers as people and are willing to go the extra mile while on the job.”

I hope this story (from the customer) encourages you and reminds you that business is about people, and not always about corporate structures. Here’s the story:

Last Friday, April 7th at 4:00pm John and a few of his co-workers were having a quick bite to eat in the shipping office prior to beginning their next truckloads. John’s last spoonful went down wrong and he stepped out to spit it out when he became aware it wasn’t going to be that simple. After trying a few more times, John returned to the office window and gave the universal “I’m choking” gesture with his hands around his neck. He couldn’t speak, inhale or exhale, his airway was blocked.

A co-worker asked “are you choking?” to which John nodded yes. That’s when Anthony, a Bridgetown Trucking driver stepped out, got behind John and began applying the Heimlich maneuver. After a couple firm attempts, John’s airway was cleared. That’s when the reflections of the seriousness began and John now calls Anthony “My Hero”. John says, “I got online & sent him a gift certificate, I hope he likes it. He probably saved my life”.


John is a twenty-one year IP employee and did the right thing going back for help. He gave the distinguishable sign to communicate his condition when he couldn’t speak.

The co-worker helped clarify the exact circumstance.

Anthony didn’t hesitate and he didn’t stop until John was ok.

(Photo courtesy of International Paper)