DeKalb County Sanitation workers discover missing child

Their job is essential. These guys get up at the crack of dawn to make sure your trash is picked up before you even wake up for the day.

What three DeKalb County sanitation workers faced while on their routine run has gotten the attention of their superiors and DeKalb County officials. Now we, too, are highlighting them as Everyday Heroes!

"Our whole job is to move fast and swift just to get the job done so that we can be able to get the job done by 5:30 (a.m.)," said employee Peter Williams.  

While he and two other workers, ZahMontay Cherry and Richard Jones, were picking up the trash bins on their route they made a startling discovery.

"I dumped [the trash can]. A body came out… I went to the driver and was like man there’s a dead body back there. I didn’t know what to do after that," said ZahMontay.

"He didn’t really react until I reacted. I was like ‘whoa’. I backed up. I noticed it was a little girl back there," said Richard.

They would quickly realize the girl, who was asleep in the trash can, was in fact alive. So they turned off the truck so the mechanism that squeezes the trash would not crush her to death.

"I walked around to the back of the truck to assess the situation when I noticed that she was reaching out. Then, me and Richard came, and then we helped her get out of the truck," said Peter.

They called 911 and in the process of explaining the emergency to the operator, officials discovered the 15-year-old was actually a missing child. She was eventually reunited with her family.

Zahmontay, Richard, and Peter were honored with certificates of appreciation at the DeKalb County commission meeting for their actions that helped save a life.

For a job that doesn’t get enough thanks as it deserves, these Everyday Heroes were certainly deserving to be on the receiving end of this high praise.

"Everybody was safe and sound, you know, that was the most important part of this whole situation," said Richard.

"It could have been my sister, anybody. It really feels good that we was the ones who helped her and saved her. It could have been way worse," said ZahMontay.

If you know someone doing something GOOD in your community, we would love to highlight them in our "Everyday Heroes" segment! Email FOX 5’s Christine Sperow or send your story idea via direct message on social media on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.