For the last 10 years, Heather Madonia has worked the night shift as a dispatcher for the private home security company ADT.
Assigned to ADT's national monitoring center located in the Rochester, New York suburb of Henrietta, Heather is accustomed to handling the up to 200 incoming alarm calls each night that routinely flow in from every part of the country.
On a chilly February evening last year, a call would come in that would be different — so different it would alter the course of lives yet to be lived, including her own.
At 12:30 a.m., an alarm call raced in from a home in the city of Joplin, Missouri, a distance of more than 1,000 miles away.
A smoke alarm had triggered a high-priority signal. A video feed let Heather know that a fire had leapt from a porch, penetrated a window, and made its way to the inside of a home where a little 5-year-old girl was fast asleep on the couch.
Footage then showed the little girl coughing for a spell but falling back to sleep as the fire threatened to rob her of her life.
Heather's professionalism took the lead. She calmly executed her duties, contacted family members, and alerted local first responders.
The fire department arrived in a quick four minutes. The family of seven, which included the parents and their five children, miraculously found safety from the flames. All were rescued, including their beloved dog.
Last week Heather got to meet the group of strangers with which she would now and forever be bonded. Accompanied by representatives from ADT, she traveled to Joplin to meet one and all, the individuals who simply wanted to express love and gratitude to their new hero-friend.
Heather was presented with the ADT Lifesaver award, the highest honor that ADT awards to its employees. The recognition event was held at the perfect venue, the family's home, recently restored by other likely heroes.
The truth is we are locked in moments across time with people not of our own choosing.
Whose choosing is it? Believers believe it's the King of the World's, and it's not accidental at all.
Believers also believe that we are placed in this world alongside one another to help each other find our way.
As we offer each other assistance on the journey, we are presented with everyday opportunities to become somebody's hero.
The hero role may not be as amazing as Heather's was, but it's a truism that heroes come in countless forms.
I encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect upon the people in your life that were, or still are, your heroes.
Then, in gratitude, try your best to bless it forward.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read James Hirsen's Reports — More Here.
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