The Disney Heroes Award: Honoring Employees Who Save Lives

Emergency preparedness and safety are highly valued here at Disney, so much so that a special award — the Disney Heroes Award — was introduced to recognize employees who save a life or prevent serious injuries.

The five-year-old program was established to commend heroic acts performed by Disney employees in and outside of the workplace. Any employee from across The Walt Disney Company can submit a nomination on behalf of a colleague who performs a life-saving act, whether it’s clearing the airway of a choking victim or reporting a life-threatening security issue to authorities. Since the program launched, more than 100 Disney Heroes Awards have been awarded to teams and employees around the world — from Tokyo to Germany and in the U.S.

Just this month, 12 employees were selected out of a pool of nominees to receive the award, including six individuals from the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, for using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), an automated external defibrillator (AED) and emergency training to save the life of a fellow employee who went under cardiac arrest on the way into work. Because of their valiant effort, the employee has made a full recovery. Past recipients have been nominated for heroic actions such as performing abdominal thrusts on co-workers and loved ones, assisting during major car accidents outside of work and even saving neighbors from a house fire.

To prevent and prepare employees for emergencies ahead of time, Disney offers more than 10 safety-themed classes including, fire extinguisher training and CPR and AED certification workshops. I’m planning to take a class called “Living on the Fault Line” – a course available to employees who live in earthquake-prone locations.

And while we all hope to never have a reason to receive a Disney Heroes Award, it feels good to work for a company that recognizes employees’ courageous behavior. Thank you and congratulations to all of our heroes!