As we wind down 2021, CMM wants to remember some of the cleaning professionals who went out of their way to protect their facilities and the people (and animals) within. These caretakers and housekeepers took pride in their work to a new level and even provided joy.
Hospital attendant helps save anesthesiologist
Kendal Hofstad, an Alomere Health caretaker in Alexandria, Minnesota, was picking up trash throughout the hospital last spring when he spotted what he thought were scrubs thrown on the floor. Upon closer inspection, he discovered Dr Amos Szainer, an anesthetist at the hospital, unconscious on the floor.
Hofstad immediately called for help. After 12 minutes of CPR, Szainer was rushed to CentraCare in St. Cloud, Minnesota, where a doctor found a large blood clot in one of his heart arteries and performed a life-saving procedure.
A school guard protects the building from flooding
When a sensor alarm alerted Peter Hemans, head warden at Hackensack Middle School in New Jersey, that the school was at risk of flooding from the remnants of Hurricane Ida, he didn’t hesitate. He jumped into his car and drove to the building, when it was 11 p.m. and flooded roads forced him to take many detours.
When it finally arrived, Hemans redirected the sump pump to prevent water from flowing into the facility. He stayed in school overnight to make sure the sump pump kept running. The caretaker’s efforts allowed the school to open in time for the 2021-2022 school year. Hemans said the lack of sleep made it worth seeing the students’ happy faces.
Hotel maids help bring endangered sea turtles back to the wild
Housekeepers at Admiral’s Inn in Tybee Island, Ga. Were instrumental in finding an Ambassador Turtle for a local science center and then securing her release into the wild three years later .
Housekeepers found six endangered loggerhead turtle hatchlings in a basket in a spare bedroom in 2018. They immediately contacted experts at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, who released five of the turtles in the ocean.
The science center had recently released its last Loggerhead Ambassador and was due to receive a new one. One of the newborns, Admiral, or Abby for short, has spent the past three years at the center, helping visitors learn about turtle conservation and the dangers of marine debris, until her release this summer.
The cleaning lady of the hospital spreads joy by singing
Paul Flamand, a guard at South County Hospital in Wakefield, Rhode Island, began singing for hospital staff and patients during the coronavirus pandemic to keep morale up. Flamand sang in a group with several family members and enjoyed singing Christmas carols to residents of nursing homes until the pandemic closed the facilities to visitors.
So, he sang while he cleaned the hospital and at a small celebration that the hospital had for nursing students after their graduation ceremony was canceled. On the last weekend of July 4, he and his family’s singers were finally able to perform at the hospital. A video of the group singing “God Bless America” drew positive comments on the hospital’s social media accounts.