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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – Three sanitation workers were honored in Georgia after rescuing a woman from their trash truck.

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On Tuesday, DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis presented ZahMontay Cherry, Richard Jones and Peter Williams with certificates of appreciation for saving the young woman’s life, WSB-TV reported.

Tracy Hutchinson, CEO of DeKalb County Sanitation, said the three were working on their usual route when they found the teenager. The truck used by the county has mechanical arms to lift the individual trash cans, so the men did not know there was a human inside the trash can until the contents were dumped into the truck.

Hutchinson said the men described seeing what appeared to be a human arm “waving” and were immediately frightened and called the police. The men then were able to get the young woman out alive before officers and paramedics responded to the scene.

The DeKalb County Police Department praised the men in a tweet, saying, “Without the attention and dedication of these employees, there is no doubt great harm, if not death, would have been imminent. Great job Sanitation!

Police did not offer any information about why the teenager was in the trash can, but said in their tweet that she “fell asleep” in the trash container.