One day last September as rains from Hurricane Isabel pelted Greensboro and fierce winds knocked down trees, shutting off power to whole sections of the city, Curtis Mosley's quick actions may well have saved Jeff Tyska's life. The FedEx fleet driver has since been lavished with praise by both Tyska and his employer, which recently presented him with its humanitarian award, according to the Greensboro News & Record
newspaper. Mosley is one of only 60 of FedEx's 145,000 U.S. employees to win the company's humanitarian award this year. Mosley was making his regular stop at OEC Graphics Southeast's Industrial Avenue office in south Greensboro. It was about 5 p.m. The weather was awful. Waiting for him were the usual packages of printing plates that needed to go out. Waiting for him, too, was Tyska. Tyska, OEC's operations manager, was seated in a chair, his left leg drenched in blood. "I've never seen that kind of blood coming from a person," recalled Mosley.Minutes before, the power outage had left Tyska stumbling in the dark in the warehouse. As he tried to make his way toward the light coming through windows up front, his leg had jammed the sharp edge of one of the company's large film processors, ripping off a big flap of skin. He'd fallen to the floor. He'd dragged himself up front. Another employee had just left, and he was alone in the building. With the power out, the telephone didn't work, and the only first aid kit he could find had two bandages in it. Outside there was no traffic. All the other businesses on the street had already closed. Then he noticed something that gave him hope. The FedEx packages were still there. He figured Mosley would be by soon. A minute or two later, Mosley walked in. He knew immediately there was little time to lose. Tyska was losing blood fast. Mosley stripped off his FedEx shirt and pulled off the sleeveless T-shirt underneath. He wrapped the T-shirt around the leg in an effort to stop the bleeding. "It helped temporarily, but the blood was soaking through that thin shirt," Mosley said. "I had just gotten a cell phone that weekend. I ran back to the truck to get it and called 911. I felt like he was losing consciousness." The 911 dispatcher told Mosley to keep Tyska awake until paramedics could get there. Mosley called his boss and told him he was running behind and would be late for some of his pickups. He stayed until paramedics arrived, then completed his rounds. He hadn't told anyone why he was late or what had happened. So when he arrived at work the next day and his boss came up to him asking what had happened. Mosley was worried. "I thought I'd done something wrong," he said. Hardly. Tyska had been working the phones on Mosley's behalf. "I called FedEx and wrote them," Tyska said. "I told them that not only was their service top notch, but their employees would give up the shirt off their back if needed.