Pete Mango of Signal 88 Security #23 Octorara PA shares a succinct definition of a hero. “A hero is somebody that goes above and beyond the normally required duties in a time of need to perform life-saving actions,” the 12-year Security 88 franchise owner explains. On October 14, one of Pete’s exceptional security officers served above and beyond to help save a life.
Officer Clayton Krieger is no stranger to emergencies. Clayton served six years in the Marine Corps, then nine years on the SWAT team at a federal prison. After 9/11, he became a federal air marshal and received specialized training in their emergency medical technician (EMT) school. In December 2018, the seasoned professional started with Signal 88 and continues to serve the public.
“Because of Clayton’s training as a federal air marshal, he was exposed to a very high level of terrorism-related training,” Pete says. “Clayton brings his experience to the job and helps identify risk that maybe other people would not have identified.”
For Signal 88 of Octorara, Clayton is the security officer for Downington Middle School where he intervenes throughout the school day with medical calls, runaway students, students drinking or vaping on campus and other needs and emergency responses that arise. On October 14 about 1:30 p.m., Clayton was monitoring the school’s outside lunch area, when he and head custodian, Pat Carey, heard a vehicle strike a guardrail on Route 30 eastbound near the school.
Both Clayton and Pat instantly ran 50 yards uphill through a patch of brush to reach the highway. A white sedan was stopped in the middle of the road with flames blazing from under its hood. Clayton knew that a car fire could completely consume the vehicle in less than two minutes.
“The driver was in the vehicle and appeared to be unresponsive. I attempted to shatter the passenger side widow with my weapon-mounted light but was unable,” Clayton details. “Pat and a bystander were able to pry open the driver’s door.”
The three men then carried the unresponsive driver from the burning vehicle to a safe distance and Clayton dialed 911 while conducting a rapid medical assessment of the driver. Pat flagged down a westbound ambulance that was returning from a call and the EMS paramedic on board intubated the driver’s airway. Clayton started breathing for the driver via a bag valve mask and Pat assisted the medic to measure oxygen and pulse and held the IV bag above the driver so it would gravity-feed.
“I worked the bag valve mask the whole time and we put the driver on a spine board and handed him to two plain clothes police officers who put him in the ambulance,” Clayton continues. “All this seemed like it happened in a flash, but we were there almost an hour and a half.”
So focused on freeing the motorist from the vehicle, Pat didn’t notice how much of the toxic smoke he inhaled. Later after school, a principal drove Pat to the hospital where he received breathing treatments. The next morning, the diligent custodian was right back at work.
Clayton defines a hero as “a person with the right skill set in the right place at the right time to make a difference.” On October 14, both Clayton and Pat were in the right place at the right time to make a life-saving difference. Clayton is quick to commend Pete and the Signal 88 franchise system for their standing behind their officers with confidence.
“Pete is a great boss and really takes care of us. He’s a former police chief so he jumps in and handles a lot of incidents without all the politics. I appreciate the flexibility of this job and Pete values your experience and your judgment,” Clayton says. “He doesn’t micromanage. He also has developed a strong relationship with the school staff and that’s incredibly important for what we do in the school. I love working for Signal 88. It’s the perfect, perfect job.”
Thank you, Officer Clayton Krieger, for serving above and beyond to help save a life. It is an honor to award you October Hero of the Month. You make us all proud of your exceptional skills and dedication to serve and protect others.