Red Cross recognizes Jennifer Estes

The Red Cross of Northeastern California held their eighth annual Real Heroes Dinner last Friday. According to the Appeal Democrat, the dinner is organized to recognize a small, select group of people who have demonstrated “extraordinary courage, kindness and unselfish character.” Among this year’s heroes was Recology Yuba-Sutter dispatcher, Jennifer Estes. Jennifer showed her immense capacity for caring, counseling and level-headedness after one of her coworkers and close friend, Gary Mathis, was killed in a crash last June.

Jennifer was nominated by her coworker, Fred Mitchell, who wrote:

In June of 2011 our company Recology Yuba-Sutter had a major crisis. Half a mile before making it to our yard safely, one of our drivers, Gary, was killed by a gravel truck that lost control on Hwy 20. Jennifer is our dispatcher and close family friend to Gary. At the time of the accident Jennifer stayed at her desk making sure the remaining drivers were directed around the crash and into the yard safely. Jennifer stood strong and helped everyone. She was torn up inside for the loss of her friend, but was there for the rest of us. Jennifer compassion and caring on this date and always makes her a Hero too many co-workers, family and fiends. Jennifer volunteers at many parades, little leagues and community events. She is a great asset to our company and community and it would be nice to recognize her heroism!

Among the other award recipients were FedEx courier Randy Leggett, an unknown passer-by who aided Sutter County Sheriff’s Department Detective Michael Gwinnup in an emergency, and fallen Army private first class officer Rueben Lopez.

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