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Rescue Hero

Mary Burich | April 29, 2019

People | Pride of the Jersey

Joey Beisch earns jersey and other honors for lifesaving effort

Joey Beisch is a tough act to follow. The Burke Corporation employee – just a handful of years this side of high school – received the location’s inaugural Pride of the Jersey award in 2019 – on the same day he was named team member of the year. His recognition came at the hands of Burke Corporation. President Chad Randick and Hormel Foods CEO Jim Snee during the Be Bold Tour. Joey also likely saved the life of a coworker and her unborn baby, so there’s that, too.

Joey Beisch

Yet, he doesn’t see what all the fuss is about.

“… I don’t feel like a hero. I just feel like I did what anybody would have done,” he said.

Not true, according to Chad, who said Joey walks softly, so to speak, but proves himself time and time again.

“[He] is constantly going above the normal call of duty and is frequently sought out because everyone knows [he’ll] get it done,” Chad said.

Jumping To Action

“Getting it done” early one morning probably resulted in two saved lives, per emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who arrived on the scene.

Joey was part of the third-shift sanitation team at Burke Corporation when the event happened. While making rounds at 3 a.m., he came upon a female coworker lying on the floor. She had been in the process of washing down the area with a disinfecting spray; the chemical was still pouring out of the hose when Joey found her.

He relied on his training, turning off the stream and cleaning her face immediately to prevent chemical burns. He also called 911 for help, explaining that EMTs would have to use an alternate entrance due to construction at Burke Corporation. Then he announced to plant workers that there was an emergency in the pack room.

All the while, the young woman was conscious, but she was frightened and confused, Joey said. “She was able to speak, but it was hard to understand her. She was so scared.”

Her garbled speech was likely the result of a stroke. Not only has she recovered, she gave birth to her baby on New Year’s Day and has since come back to work. Thanking Joey for his kindness and quick thinking was first on her agenda. “That felt great,” he said.

If nothing else, the events of late have shown Joey that he made a good decision a few years ago. He joined Burke Corporation from the fast-food industry. Having grown up near the plant, he knew of the company and even was acquainted with several members of the founding family. So when he left his restaurant job almost four years ago, Joey decided to set his sights on Burke Corporation. “It’s the first major job I’ve had,” he said.

His mother died in 2016, but Joey’s father is still here. He was delighted by his son’s heroism. “He was proud of me – my dad,” Joey said. His mother surely would also have been, he agreed. “I feel like I take after her in a lot of ways.”

Joey enjoys spending time with his friends, working in the yard and stargazing with the help of his telescope. He admittedly liked the celebration in his honor, too.

“I feel like a celebrity,” he said. “It feels good, but you feel like you don’t deserve the recognition. No matter what happens, you’d be surprised what you’re able to do.”