Sears technician Phillip DeRue was finishing up a service call in Rochester Hills recently when, as city leaders acknowledged this week, he went "well above and beyond the call of duty" in coming to the rescue of a woman who suffered a serious fall.
DeRue, who lives in Shelby Township, had been called to the home on Creek Bend Street to service a washing machine on Oct. 12. He was working on a computer in his truck after the call was finished when he witnessed a woman fall off the front porch of the home he had just been inside.
"She came out to walk her dog and I watched as the dog's leash wrapped around and around her legs," said DeRue, 57, who has worked for Sears for five years.
He said the woman fell head-first down three paved steps.
"I ran to her and lifted her head up and there was blood gushing everywhere," he said. "I called 911; in the meantime, there goes the dog."
DeRue said he helped the woman place her hand onto the laceration on her head to stop the bleeding while he ran a short distance to get the dog, which he described as a King Charles breed.
By then, an ambulance had arrived. DeRue stayed by the woman's side until she was safe inside the ambulance.
And then he finished walking the dog.
"I took the dog back inside and put it in its crate and then locked up the house for her," DeRue said. He also called the woman's family to let them know what had happened.
"I just did what I thought was the right thing to do," said DeRue, who received a framed proclamation from Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett and Rochester Hills city councilmembers on Monday night.
DeRue's wife, Linda, and 17-year-old daughter, Kennedy, joined him at the council meeting. Kennedy called her dad a "hero."
"Phllip DeRue went above and beyond the call of duty in helping a resident in what could have been a life-threatening situation," the proclamation reads. "He demonstrated rare compassion and consideration in helping care for her dog, house and family."