California delivery driver's heroic efforts help save dog from burning car

We are living in times where the focus of most is on the self.

It has reached a point where photography, whose whole objective was to look outward, now has a "selfie" convention, where the photographer places himself before monuments sunsets, even funerals.

But that's not all.

Victimhood, usually of the faux variety, rather than real achievement, has become a pathway to prosperity, fame, and wealth, leading everyone to rush into the overcrowded tent of victimhood.

Quite often, even perpetrators themselves claim victimhood instead of responsibility.  This is once again emblematic of the era of selfishness.  Instead of apologizing to the victims, such perpetrators place their own feelings first and seek an escape route.

Actor Alec Baldwin is a perfect instance of that trend. 

When you remove all the spin, the fact remains that Baldwin fired the gun that killed the cinematographer of his film Rust.  Yet in an interview with ABC News, Baldwin used his acting skills to muster tears, to shirk any responsibility for his actions, and worst of all to portray himself as the victim — perhaps bigger than the poor woman who was killed.

This breeds cynicism and despondency in society about the future of humanity.

But then a rare hero emerges who offers hope.

The hero in question is 49-year-old Ervin Ruhe, Jr., who is an Amazon delivery driver from Modesto, California.

Ruhe helped save a dog from a car in flames in Merced, California.

Ruhe had just helped a colleague finish deliveries for the day and was on his way back to the delivery station when he spotted the vehicle on fire "on the side of the road near West 16th Street and Highway 99," according to the Modesto Bee.

Ruhe said he saw a man helping his wife to the side of the road from the vehicle on fire.

Ruhe said he stopped and grabbed the emergency fire extinguisher from his delivery vehicle.

Ruhe said the situation didn't look like "it was too bad," but he was hoping there was nobody inside the inflamed vehicle.

Ruhe used the fire extinguisher to attempt to douse the flames emanating from the battery area in the engine compartment of the vehicle.

While doing so, that's when he heard someone saying, "Our dog's inside, our dog's inside!"

Ruhe was able to suppress the fire enough to reach inside the vehicle and unlock the back seat door to enable the man to grab his dog. 

Later, everyone rushed off to the side after the flames intensified.

Ruhe then called 911, and the dispatcher told him a fire truck was already on the way.  Soon the fire brigade was at the location.

After helping the couple and their dog, Ruhe ensured that they were safe and well.  Then he got back into his vehicle and drove back to the delivery station.

A video of the scene can be seen on the Merced Sun-Star website.

It has to be remembered that vehicular fires are unpredictable and therefore dangerous.  A small fire could instantaneously erupt into a major fire, and there could be a sudden explosion, either of which could cause severe burnings or even death.

Ruhe must have been aware of this peril since he is a driver himself.  Yet he placed the interests of others above his own and ended up saving a life.

This wasn't the first time Ruhe displayed exemplary courage in a crisis situation.

Ruhe revealed he used his emergency fire extinguisher once before when he stopped to help a farmer out in a field.

The incident occurred when Ruhe saw a man trying to fill a bucket with water from a ditch as a piece of equipment, possibly a generator or water pump, was on fire in a field.

Ruhe grabbed his fire extinguisher and was able to extinguish the equipment fire burning near tall grass and gas cans. 

Clearly, generosity, empathy, and altruism are in Ruhe's nature.

Ruhe has been a delivery driver for about four years, and said he enjoys his job delivering packages, as it gives him a chance to listen to podcasts while at work.

Navneet Kaur, senior regional manager of Amazon's Delivery Station, said the following about Ruhe's heroism:

We are very grateful to Ervin (Ruhe) for going above and beyond and helping out a community member and their pet while in distress.

It's amazing to witness the ownership and willingness to go above and beyond to help someone in need.

Ruhe said he hopes more people will step up and try to help others rather than just looking on and taking pictures or videos.

"I just felt I just wanted to be a good citizen and help out," said Ruhe, summarizing the situation tersely.

According to Natalie Banke with Amazon's workplace public relations, Ruhe is already recognized by the company as a top driver in the area, and the company plans to further recognize him for his efforts to help save the dog.

Hopefully, Ervin Ruhe, Jr will be celebrated by all.

The nature of the news media is such that the focus is always on the unusual and the abnormal.

A slight skid of an airplane wheel on the runway causes headlines, and rightly so.  But tens of thousands of flights landing normally are never reported because the news simply cannot focus on all that is occurring as expected.

But selflessness and heroism in this era of egocentrism and vanity are a rarity; hence, they deserve to be in the news.

Alas, apart from local news outlets, Ervin Ruhe, Jr. hasn't received much coverage.

Perhaps every news outfit should dedicate a small daily or perhaps weekly news segment dedicated to heroes.

It would also be nice to see heroes celebrated, awarded, and rewarded more.

How about book deals, documentaries, and endorsements for heroes such as Ervin Ruhe, Jr. or Army veteran Richard Fierro, whose fearless actions saved lives at the nightclub in Colorado late last year, or Louie and Cazim Suljovic, who placed themselves in harm's way to save a 61-year-old woman from being attacked and robbed outside their New York restaurant.  How about Nick Bostic, who saved five people from a house fire in Indiana, or Jay Withey, who rescued 24 people from a blizzard in Buffalo, New York? 

How about fame for real-life heroes as much as on-screen heroes?

How about lucrative deals for real-life heroes instead of crooked politicians or "victims" in showbiz, politics, and activism?

A society that celebrates and incentivizes heroism and selflessness will encourage and perpetuate heroism and selflessness.

Image: Screen shot from Fox40 / Amazon video via YouTube.

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