CLEVELAND - An alert post office worker may have saved a man’s life after noticing a few red flags at a house on Cleveland's east side.
It was Jason Jones' phone call that led police to find a 91-year-old man unconscious on the floor of his own home. Jones, who's been a United States Postal Service carrier for about five years in the area, said he notice something wrong last week as he kept delivering to an elderly customer's home.
"He's one of my number one customers that come and greet me every other day. He's looking forward to his mail," said Jones of 91-year-old Jack Clair.
But for at least three days, Jones said he did not see Clair, nor did he see footprints in fresh snow. He also noticed a car still at the house and expected mail to start collecting in the box.
But instead of moving on, Jones decided to act by calling police not once, but twice.
"I called the police. They said they'll check into it and I was done working for the day and that was it. But when I came back the next day in the morning, I still didn't see any footprints from Mr. Clair and his car still hadn't moved. So I called the police again,” Jones said.
By now it was Friday. Neighbor Duane Todd said both police and a fire crew came, finally entering Clair's front door. They found Clair unconscious on the floor.
Todd, who says he visited his neighbor since, said Clair was dehydrated and malnourished as well. Todd said he believed his elderly neighbor had spent a few days on the floor unconscious.
Todd told NewsChannel5 he visited the post office to make sure they all knew what Jones had done.
"I felt that the postal man needed to be recognized for the job he did because if he hadn't notified someone, Mr. Jack would've died," Todd said.
For Jones, staying alert and paying attention to signs of what could be life-threatening situations for their customers is something U.S. Postal Service workers are trained to do. It has been part of the "Carrier Alert Program" offered to U.S.P.S. employees since 1982. But even Jones was amazed at the gravity of his actions.
"When I found out he was actually inside the house, I was very shocked. I was very surprised," Jones said. He said he has called the police many times on things that looked suspicious, but he said the situation had never been serious.
A humble hero, Jones is now receiving kudos from his co-workers. The message to others he said is simply the one he sees on a Cleveland billboard every day: "If you see something, say something."
"You look out for others and you expect others to look out for you," said Jones with a smile on his face.
Jones works out of the Cranwood post office branch.
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