Saving people’s lives almost seems second nature for Signal 88 Officer Tony Duncil with #262 in Madison, WI. Some five years ago, Tony stepped in to shield a woman who was being attacked by a rogue dog. The elderly woman ended up with 72 stitches in her arm, but escaped with her life thanks to Tony’s quick action. Last month while on security duty, Tony pulled a homeless man out of oncoming traffic without injury.
Tony was working his evening shift at the Porchlight men’s shelter in downtown Madison when the shelter staff denied a man access into the building. “He was highly agitated and really upset that we couldn’t let him in,” Tony recalls. “We have certain policies we have to follow about coming inside the shelter by a certain time and not being drunk or high on drugs.”
The homeless man left screaming at Tony and the shelter staff and went outside by the nearby busy intersection. “I was watching him and he was getting ready to cross the street. I got a little closer to him, about 10 feet away, and I noticed the light change and a car started to go,” Tony explains. “The man was going to walk right out in front of the car. I took off running and basically ripped him out from in front of the car.”
A second or two later and the man would have been hit by the car that just zoomed on. The car missed Tony’s foot by about six inches. “I tackled the guy and he was drunk and mumbling,” Tony explains. “We know the guy and he’s actually a nice guy, he didn’t even realize what had happened because he was that drunk.”
Tony and a shelter staff member helped the inebriated man to his feet and called for emergency medical to make sure the man checked out okay after crashing to the pavement. The shelter followed up with the man to be sure he received additional mental health support.
Larry Templeton, the regional manager for Signal 88 in Wisconsin, notes how everyone at the men’s shelter knows Tony and appreciates his looking after the staff and residents. “Tony has faced other incidents at the shelter and knows how to handle situations without having to resort to other means. His verbal de-escalation skills are top of the line,” Larry says. “When it came to protecting this man, none of the names he called Tony and such mattered. Tony did his job because that was the right thing to do. I don't know what I would do without Tony, to be honest. He’s my superstar. He’s my number one guy.”
Larry is also quick to praise Tony for being a jack-of-all-trades for maintaining all of the Signal 88 franchise vehicles. Tony was a electrician and ran his own electrical company before transitioning into executive security. Tony joined Signal 88 almost two years ago and quickly proved his leadership skills, earning his current role of supervisor.
“Tony has good relationships with all the employees and they all respect him because they know what he can do. They know Tony’s capabilities as a security guard and a supervisor,” Larry explains. “Tony takes a lot of pressure off me in the tasks that he does. He takes the initiative when he sees that something needs to be done.”
Tony says he is kind of an adrenaline junkie and likes jobs with an edge of high stress. He also describes himself as a family guy. “I love my family and they mean everything to me,” he says before proudly sharing about he and his wife’s blended family of eight kids and one due most any day.
“Tony has wise character and it’s unparalleled to everybody that I’ve ever had worked with. He’s got good morals and good character,” Larry adds. “Tony treats people with respect and talks to them with respect and people give back the same thing in return. I can't ask for anything more.”
We at Signal 88 Franchise Group couldn’t ask for more either, Tony. Well-deserved kudos to you for your Hero of the Month award.