A phone call they’ll never forget

By: Megan Schaefer

First responders get a surprising phone call from the people they saved in an emotional Super Bowl commercial.

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Verizon teamed up with director Amir Bar-Lev to give people who were rescued by first responders the opportunity to thank them. But to do that, we needed to track down the first responders. We wanted to give those who answer the call the chance to answer one more call … one they would never forget.

At Verizon, our mission is to enable people to do more and do more good for others. First responders answer the call. Our job is to make sure they can get it. 

Abby Ward and her brother were hiking in Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, when she fell off a 50-foot cliff. Luckily, her brother was able to call for help. Thanks to the quick action of first responders Wayne Bassham and Shawn Kenney of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department, Abby is alive today and on the road to recovery.

The Barretts were stranded when Hurricane Harvey hit their Cypress, Texas, home. But not even the rising water would stop Deputy Rick Johnson of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department from wading into the waist-deep flood and carrying them to safety.

Off duty firefighter, Captain John Meffert of the Avalon Fire Department, was at the right place at the right time when Frank and Janan Pisano’s twin engine Cessna careened onto the 405 Freeway. Meffert, whose car was impacted by the plane’s debris, quickly sprung into action, pulling the Pisano’s from the plane’s flame and saving their lives.

Joe Clopton was on his way to the beach in Santa Clarita, Calif., when he had a seizure, causing his car to crash into a ravine and leaving him trapped inside. Ryan Chapin and Jim Maxfield of the Los Angeles County Fire Department were some of the first responders who rescued him from the horrific wreckage. 

A flood left Summer Partida trapped inside a car with her husband and two young children in Murrieta, Calif. Rescuers Todd Bradstreet and Mike Macalinao of the Murrieta Fire Department were the ones who jumped into action, saving the family from being swept away by the dangerous, rushing waters.

Lance Ragland and his wife Djuana were asleep when their apartment caught fire in DeKalb County, Ga. While trying to evacuate their eight children from the burning building, Lance and Djuana were forced to throw their 3-year-old daughter and infant son to the firefighters below. Captain Jackie Peckrul and Captain Scott Stroup of the DeKalb County Fire Department miraculously caught both children.

To learn more about these stories featured in our 2018 Super Bowl commercial and share your thanks to first responders, visit AllOurThanks.com. 

For related media inquiries, please contact story.inquiry@one.verizon.com

About the author(s):

Megan Schaefer has been creating content since she could get her hands on a computer. Now she’s turned her love for storytelling into a career. In 2017, Megan joined Verizon’s external communication team to continue her creative passion.

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