A Verizon worker was suspended from his job for rescuing a cat which was stranded on top of a telephone pole. Maurice German was working in a neighborhood in Port Richmond, Pennsylvania last Saturday, when a resident asked him to help rescue 'Momma' the cat. The feline had been stuck on top of the pole for about 12 hours, CBS Philly reported.
German obliged by using a boom lift to reach the cat as residents filmed the rescue operation and applauded the man. The cat was safely returned to its owner and was not harmed. But Verizon suspended German for 15 days, saying its vehicles and equipment were not intended to be used in the area where he operated.
Verizon spokesperson Rich Young told CBS Philly: 'We take no joy in this job action. 'However, we’re committed and responsible for keeping our employees and customers safe while working in a particular area.' The telecommunications network said its field technicians are obliged to participate in safety training exercises with the intention of keeping both its workers, and customers safe. He added: 'Unfortunately, while this employee’s goal was admirable, he potentially put his life and those around him in jeopardy. 'While our actions may not be popular, it’s in the best interest of our employees and the communities we serve.' Young said Verizon is making a donation to the Pennsylvania SPCA in Fishton to support the charity's animal rescue efforts.
Amanda Boyce, of Port Richmond, told CBS that one of her neighbors attempted to rescue the cat from 12.30am to 1.30am on Saturday morning but to no avail. The cat’s owner called the fire department, animal rescue and the telephone company attempting to have their pet rescued. However another resident later found German in the area and asked for his help.
Despite his goodwill gesture, Verizon still suspended the man - a move which prompted outrage amongst the local community. Two GoFundMe pages were set up to raise the amount that would have matched Germans' salary for working 15 days. One was set up by his colleague Keith Morales and in a description he wrote: 'The $4,650 goal is the equivalent of the 15 days (3 weeks) pay that Maurice will forgo for simply being a human being looking to help one of our 4 legged friends. 'Thank you in advance for your donation, and please remember that no donation is too small.' Morales' page has so far raised $2,478 of a $4,000 goal in just 17 hours and the other one has raised $440 out of a $2,400 goal.