HARLEYSVILLE, Pa., Aug. 2, 2018– Superheroes. Thanks to Hollywood recreating The Justice League and The Avengers, we often think of them flying through the sky, wearing a cape or cool futuristic body armor while using some unnatural “power” to save the day.
Like in the comics, real-life superheroes have an alter ego to keep their true identity a secret—although when unmasked—there’s no cape. Regardless, they’re still unique!
Nick DelPopolo, a real-life superhero and business office manager at The Birches at Harleysville, was recently recognized for his lifesaving efforts that occurred in the summer of 2006.
As a volunteer firefighter, he’s rushed toward danger before, but he’d never done something like this. Standing on the top floor in a Warrington Township apartment building and peering through heavy gray smoke, DelPopolo was getting ready to head downstairs when something caught his eye.
“I looked to my right and saw something through the smoke. I went to see what it was,” said DelPopolo. “It was a girl curled up on a couch clinging to her Mickey Mouse stuffed animal.”
Without a second thought, he whisked the little girl to safety where she was able to receive care from a paramedic on-scene.
DelPopolo’s fire training facilitated his response. He was able to fight fear and assess his surroundings. In a situation where panic could cloud another's judgment, he rushed to save another’s life not thinking of his own.
“As a seasoned volunteer firefighter I have received countless hours of training; however, I never saved someone’s life before,” said DelPopolo. “All I could think about was getting her out of the building as quickly and as safely as possible.”
The semi-private recognition event in May honored individuals who saved lives 10 to 15 years prior. DelPopolo would once again come face to face with the little girl, now a grown woman with a daughter of her own.
“Honestly, all these years I often wondered what she was doing and how she was. I never thought I would find out,” said DelPopolo choking back with emotion. “To see her again with her family, made everything come full circle.”
His actions may not earn him an Oscar; nonetheless, his humility reunited a little girl with her family, allowing them more memories to cherish and giving her the opportunity of motherhood—something no movie deal can buy.
The Birches at Harleysville is a personal care and memory care community that provides assistance to seniors needing help with activities of daily living. Three delicious meals are prepared by our chef daily and served in a comfortable dining room complete with relaxing music and the companionship of friends. Our robust activity calendar is designed to meet every resident’s interest and activity level. The Birches offers a month-to-month lease, which includes housekeeping, laundry services, and transportation to medical appointments and other outings. Best of all there are no long-term contracts or entrance fees. Schedule your free, no-obligations tour with Alyssa Barndt, marketing director, by calling 215-541-3700.