Health Department employee honored for 40 years of service

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:24 PM EDT
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Marilyn Bland is a healthcare technician at the Petersburg Health Department, and she thoroughly enjoys talking about Mr. Al.

“He is the first one here in the morning; the last one to leave in the afternoon,” Bland said.

Alfonso Epps, also known as Mr. Al, is the cure for all non-medical issues at the health department.

“If the lights go out or I can’t get something to work, go to Mr. Al,” Bland said.

Epps has been the go-to maintenance guy for 4 decades now; in fact, he wasn’t even out of high school when he started working here.

“My mom had to sign a paper for me to start working at the health department on Fillmore street,” Epps said.

He walked in the door and never left. This is the only job he’s ever had, and Epps said he would change a thing. What did change was his surroundings as people came and went, but he remained a constant.

“He’s just one of those guys you don’t find too often, he comes to work every day, he never complains, and that’s a rare thing. I don’t know, I kind of look at him as my dad a little bit,” Bland said.

Bland and other technicians at the health department wanted to thank him for his hard work by giving him $300 dollars in cash and a $50 dollar gift card to “Mexico Restaurant.”

There were lots of cheers for Epps who never saw it coming.

“I’m a bit shocked, I didn’t know they were going to do this, I’m very happy though because I’ve been working very hard,” Epps said. “I was brought up in what we call old school, work hard, make sure you treat everyone right, and that’s what I do.”

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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