Verizon worker suspended after rescuing cat stuck on utility pole

PHILADELPHIA -- A Verizon worker, who took quick action to rescue a cat that was stuck on a utility pole in a Philadelphia neighborhood, has been suspended by the company for violating safety protocol.

Cellphone video captured the rescue on March 16.

Neighbors had been trying for an hour to rescue "Princess Momma," a cat who somehow got stuck at the top of a utility pole.

Verizon worker Maurice German was on the scene and used his bucket truck to rescue the animal.

Princess Momma was taken to safety, and no one was injured.

But, a Verizon spokesman told WPVI that because German's good deed violated safety protocol, and was actually pretty dangerous due to the electrical lines in the area, the company had no choice but to suspend him.

That suspension is three weeks without pay.

Verizon issued the following statement:

"We take no joy when our employees face consequences related to their job duties. We are, however, fully committed and responsible for keeping our employees and customers safe. All of our field technicians go through extensive training that is focused on workplace safety. Our goal is to keep our employees and our customers out of harm's way.

For safety reasons, our trucks and related equipment are not intended to be used in the area in which he was operating, specifically around electrical wires. While our actions may not be popular, he potentially put his life and those around him in jeopardy. To show our support for animal rescue efforts, Verizon has made a donation to the Pennsylvania SPCA in Fishtown, an organization that helps care for and provide homes for abandoned cats and other animals."

Neighbors said they are more than grateful for German's heroic act.
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