The Dominos employees knew something was wrong. Their long-time customer Kirk ordered daily, but they hadn’t received an order from him in over a week. He hadn’t mentioned going out of town, and a sense of dread filled the staff. The team was worried.
They began to imagine horrible scenarios but felt helpless about what they could do. When they picked up the phone to call 9-1-1, they had no idea what this small action would mean for Kirk’s life.
A quiet man, Kirk doesn’t have many friends. His neighbors say he is very responsible and friendly. He rarely goes out, but the neighborhood is used to seeing the Domino’s delivery. Kirk loves pizza!
When his orders are delivered, he usually chats with the local delivery team, just like with old friends. Little did he know that one day those people would be the ones who would save his life.
Since Kirk’s order was familiar the shop employees started asking the delivery drivers what this man was like. The delivery drivers would begin to update the team about their conversations with Kirk and how he was doing.
Kirk would also let the delivery drivers know if he was going away or leaving to visit family. They had a great relationship and Sarah wished all their customers could be as friendly as Kirk. One day, the team received a surprising message from Kirk.
While Kirk ordered regularly, the team did not think it was weird when one or two days passed without receiving an order from Kirk. Sarah knows that even if pizza is one of his favorite dinners, it also isn’t that healthy.
People will occasionally try to diet or change their eating habits. Unfortunately, that can mean the end of friendships with long-term customers. Sarah debated reaching out to Kirk but thought it would be too strange. She would regret not following her gut when she found out the truth.
While Sarah worked behind the counters, she spoke with every single member of her team. After a few days, several delivery drivers started pulling her aside. They told her they were concerned Kirk hadn’t ordered a pizza.
Sarah appreciated their feedback, but she didn’t feel comfortable overstepping the boundaries between fast food and customers. Even if the team was friendly with Kirk, they weren’t responsible for him. Was anyone else thinking about Kirk beside this delivery team?
While Kirk was friendly with everyone, he didn’t have many friends. He never had any visitors and all his family lived in a different town. His neighbors enjoyed his company and said he preferred to be alone.
One neighbor, Ben Theodoriches, said “He’s a pretty good guy – kind of stayed away from everybody.” The Dominos team had no idea what they meant to Kirk. They were losing precious time to reach out and save his life.
Finally, after another delivery driver pestered Sarah about Kirk’s orders she agreed to check the computer. She was shocked to see that it had been 11 days since Kirk had placed an order. A pit of worry began to form in Sarah’s stomach.
The entire time she had worked at Domino’s Kirk always tried different items on the menu but he never went this long without ordering. The staff was growing more concerned every day. What could Sarah do without crossing a line?
Sarah didn’t realize that some of her staff members had begun doing drive-bys of Kirk’s address. They were perplexed. Kirk was more than a customer to them and something felt off with this sudden change of routine.
When they drove by his street they saw his car in the driveway, but he was never outside. A terrible thought entered the staff’s mind. What if Kirk had found a different pizza company? Was their concern pointless? Sarah knew there was only one way to find out.
Sarah could not avoid staff questions any longer and decided to take action. She didn’t want to overstep but everyone was growing increasingly concerned with their long-time customer Kirk.
When staff described Kirk they said he was quiet but friendly. Delivering a pizza to Kirk meant that you would also have a chat and find out how his day had been. The drivers knew the interaction meant a lot to Kirk as well. Sarah took a deep breath and picked up the phone.
Before Sarah called 9-1-1 she reached out to one of Kirk’s regular delivery drivers, Tracey Hamblen. Usually, Tracey saw Kirk 3-4 times a week. The two had a great rapport and Tracey was concerned about his friend.
Tracey drove to Kirk’s house and instead of driving past, he parked his car. Tracey walked up to Kirk’s front door but noticed one strange thing. It sent shivers down Tracey’s neck and he called Sarah immediately.
As Tracey walked up to Kirk’s front door, he noticed a couple of things. Kirk’s mail had not been taken out of the box, but all of Kirk’s lights were on. As Tracey got closer to the door, he noticed besides the lights being on, he could also hear a t.v playing loudly.
At first, Tracey was relieved. If the T.V was on, it meant Kirk was home. He excitedly knocked on the door and waited to see his friend’s smiling face. When no one came to the door, Tracey realized things were worse than he imagined.
Tracey called Sarah and told her what he had found. He repeated to her the lights and television were on, but no one answered the door. Sarah asked if he knocked more than once and Tracey told her he waited for 10 minutes.
There was one more thing they could do. Before calling the authorities the Domino’s team had access to Kirk’s cell phone number. They thought he might appreciate them calling there first, but were they prepared for what Kirk would say?
Tracey got the phone number from Sarah and dialed it while he was still outside Kirk’s house. He strained to hear through the door if there was a ringing but all he could hear was Kirk’s television.
Kirk’s cellphone rang and rang until his voicemail picked it up. Tracey was feeling panicked. He banged on Kirk’s door and yelled who it was. Frustrated he called Sarah back. They had waited long enough, something was seriously wrong.
As Tracey drove back to the Domino’s store he knew it was time for Sarah to call the police. He couldn’t help but think something was seriously wrong with Kirk. They had waited long enough and he walked into the store prepared to convince Sarah.
Sarah was ready to call the police too. The situation was weird and something was definitely wrong with Kirk. The Domino’s team had been patient but it was time to take action. How would she explain to the police how she knew Kirk? She pushed three numbers and started a life-saving mission.
When the 9-1-1 operator answered the phone Sarah felt slightly embarrassed. She took a deep breath and said, “Ok, This is Domino’s Pizza and we have a customer that usually orders like every night.”
Sarah wondered if the 9-1-1 operator would just hang up. She had to explain the situation quickly. Everyone knew they didn’t have a moment to lose. This phone call was the quick action Kirk’s like depending on.
Sarah gave all the information to the 9-1-1 operator and then asked what would happen next. The operator told her she would forward this information to the local sheriff’s office and then call Sarah back with any updates.
Sarah hung up the phone and told the staff what she had been told. Everyone waited to hear from the Sheriff. Unfortunately, the Sheriff would confirm the team’s worse nightmare.
The call information was passed along to the Sheriff’s office. They had never received a 9-1-1 call about a pizza place customer. While it felt strange they pulled up Kirk’s information and then noticed a surprising detail.
While Kirk had never been in trouble with the law, he was registered as an epileptic. Kirk was young but had suffered from minor strokes in the past that left him at high risk for seizures. The Sheriff grabbed his keys and made one last call before jumping behind the wheel!
The sheriff had called and asked for an ambulance to meet him at Kirk’s residence. When he arrived he noticed the same things Tracey did: car parked, lights, and television on. The sheriff quickly walked the perimeter of the house and then came back to the front door.
By that time the ambulance had arrived and was on standby for their next orders. The Sheriff knocked on the door and leaned down to listen carefully. His ears were trained for emergency’s and he heard what he needed to break down the door immediately!
When the sheriff knocked down the door, he found Kirk paralyzed on the floor. The young man had a minor stroke and was unable to get up after falling. His injuries had become life-threatening as he had waited for someone to save him.
The Sheriff had quietly heard Kirk yell over the T.V “HELP” after hearing the knock. As the ambulance team rushed in, the Sheriff was amazed at even finding this young man. Without Domino’s, Kirk would have had a very different fate.
When the Sheriff heard a quiet whisper for HELP he knew something was seriously wrong. He didn’t hesitate to knock down the door and immediately get Kirk the help he needed. When the team found Kirk he had been on the ground for a few days.
At this point, even a few more hours could have meant the difference between life and death. The ambulance quickly got Kirk to a hospital and the Sheriff’s department called the Domino’s team. He was relieved to let the store know the amazing news, but how would the community respond to their actions?
Kirk lived alone and was unable to piece together everything that had happened. The hospital staff were able to get him into a stable condition but couldn’t believe how lucky he was. The Sheriff knew the Domino’s team deserved special recognition.
When he called the team to let them know they had saved Kirk’s life, they were overjoyed. They told the Sheriff one important thing. It was a sentence he had never heard about customer service. This mentality had made a pizza store local heroes, but did they even realize the magnitude of their actions?
Sarah couldn’t believe the state Kirk was found in. She told the Sheriff, “We’re like a family here, and we were glad we were able to do something to help. We hope he’s able to fully recover from this.”
The Sheriff believe this Domino’s team had gone above and beyond. He wanted to give them the spotlight they deserved. What did the community think about these teenagers’ quick actions?
The staff would not stop thinking about Kirk and what they could do during his recovery. They decided to visit him in the hospital. The first day they went to see him, Kirk was drowsy and not one hundred percent coherent.
The staff didn’t know if he even realized he had visitors. They looked around Kirk’s plain hospital room and realized an easy solution to help Kirk’s recovery. They had already done so much. Would this final action be too far?
The team decided to make Kirk “Get Well” cards. They wanted him to feel loved when he woke up after the terrifying ordeal. They also collectively sent Kirk flowers for him to see when he woke up in his hospital room.
It was these little touches that let Kirk know he wasn’t alone. Kirk’s family had not been able to get down and visit him so he was overjoyed to feel the love from his extended Domino family. The story spread like wildfire through the small town. One day a journalist from the local paper, got wind of this courageous rescue. It was time to record the story properly for years to come.
Assistant manager Jenny Seiber was managing Kirk’s get-well mission. Between herself and Sarah they were becoming overwhelmed with the feedback from the community. It’s rare for fast-food customers to develop this special bond and the community was impressed.
After a newspaper covered the story, the headline got national recognition. Sarah and Jenny were asked to be on ‘Good Morning America’. The girls felt shy. They didn’t believe they had done anything special, but while the world watched they became overnight heroes.
Jenny & Sarah were nervous to appear on the syndicated television show but quickly got comfortable speaking with the hosts. Sarah told the hosts, “I think we were just doing our job by looking out for someone we know who orders a lot from our pizza store.”
Jenny nodded next to her co-worker and re-iterated their family sentiments. They hoped the community would realize that each person means a lot to keep their business alive and maintain these relationships. Good Morning America had one final important question for the local heroes, but did they have an answer?
The hosts were curious about Kirk’s recovery. Jenny said besides sending cards and flowers she had personally gone to visit Kirk three times. By her last visit, he was back to his normal cheerful self and incredibly grateful to the Dominos team.
The best news was that Kirk was moved into a rehabilitation wing of the hospital. He would be getting physical therapy and while there might be some lasting effects from the stroke he would continue to lead a fulfilling life. The hosts had a big surprise for these local heroes, and were about the drop a big announcement on the entire staff!
The team at Good Morning, America decided to send every employee of the Domino’s store to see the latest screening of Captain America: Civil War. The hosts said, “Since you guys are superheroes, we’re gonna send you to Captain America: Civil War.”
Jenny and Sarah were shocked!! They knew their team would love a night out and thanked the hosts profusely. There was an even bigger surprise for the three core members of the operation, and this wasn’t just a one-night celebration.
The hosts of Good Morning, America went on to say that on top of the movie tickets, Jenny, Sarah, and Tracey were all going to Las Vegas! The Dominos company was hosting a worldwide rally and the employees would be honored among their peers.
None of the employees had ever been to Vegas! This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They were stunned by the show’s generosity and thrilled to travel! The employees still thought they hadn’t done anything extraordinary. The Sheriff let them know he disagreed with a public display of approval.
The employees from Dominos knew exactly how the sheriff viewed their actions. He was incredibly proud of their quick thinking. He told local reporters, “Thanks to the quick actions of Mr. Hamblen, Mr. Alexander is in stable condition at the Salem Hospital.”
The sheriff also said, “Our office and team would like to personally thank Mr. Hamblen for his quick actions and readiness to take time out of his day to care for others.” These employees had truly gone above and beyond. Was this a good representation of the Dominos brand?
The Dominos store views its place in their neighborhood as a point of pride. They appreciate the love and feedback they receive from every order and strive to make every experience memorable.
Manager Sarah said, “We are so proud of our team members who took the initiative to reach out and help a regular customer who was in distress. There are thousands of Domino’s stores across the country, but every store is really a part of their neighborhood, delivering to people in their homes, which shows just how often we get to know our customers well.”
This team will continue to put its customers first. They feel like it’s their duty as not only customer service employees but members of the local community. They only wished they had acted sooner instead of waiting as long as they did.
Sarah finished the interview with Good Morning, America by saying, “‘We have many stories of how our stores have helped regular customers in ways that are big and small over the years.” The team can’t wait to deliver more pizzas to Kirk in the future and all of their other devoted friends and family.