Delante Scott: A Hero Among Us


April 15, 2024, started out like any other Monday for Delante Scott. 

After leaving a store visit in Washington D.C., where he is based, he hopped in his car and got on Interstate 495. As he adjusted his radio, he saw smoke ahead. Then, an explosion. 

As he neared the scene, flames, dust and debris swirled in the air, obscuring what was left of a dump truck, hopelessly tangled with an SUV. 

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Scott, a retail sales merchandiser for Advantage Solutions. “This huge ball of fire just erupted. As I got out of my car, another man ran over. You could hear a child screaming. Once I heard that, everything just clicked.”

He and two other men sprinted toward a burning SUV. A quick assessment revealed they’d need to lift the vehicle’s mangled door to get in. Scott took off his shirt to protect one of his hands from the hot metal and they managed to pry the door open enough to pull a child free. 

Another man brought a fire extinguisher from his car, and kept the flames at bay while they pulled the driver free, a woman.

Scott then rushed to another car involved in the wreck, and found the driver a little banged up, but otherwise OK. By that time an ambulance and firefighters arrived on the scene. 

“I took a quick second, took a deep breath and got back in my car,” Scott says. “I thought, ‘Everyone’s OK. It’s time to get back to work. I didn’t want to get caught behind that traffic.’” 

But first, a stop at a nearby drug store to pick up some ointment and bandages to wrap his hand, which he burned during the rescue. 

“It was just my one hand, and I wasn’t in danger of losing it. Besides, I was a cook for six years. Burns are nothing new to me,” he says. 

Hand sufficiently wrapped, Scott phoned his manager, Gloria Doran Johnson, to warn her he may be a bit late to his next meeting.

While there was no expectation that Scott would return to work that day — when he relayed what happened, he didn’t even tell his supervisor he was injured — Scott insisted on getting back on the road. 

“I had a deadline to make some promotional displays,” he says. “I haven’t missed a deadline in the almost four years I’ve been with this amazing company, and I’d like to keep it that way.”

Team support

Doran Johnson, an East Coast peer trainer at Advantage, has worked alongside Scott for four years. While she was concerned about whether Scott was OK, she said she wasn’t surprised when he told her he preferred to go about his day. 

“For him to go through what he went through and still be on the conference call with our client later that day was pretty remarkable,” says Johnson, who describes Scott as dedicated, focused on his work and unafraid to ask questions in the field.  

Once his teammates learned what happened, Scott says he was deluged with calls and texts checking in to ensure he was OK. 

“I truly appreciate that,” he says.

Caring comes naturally

Working in the service of others comes naturally for Scott. As a retail sales merchandiser, he’s the eyes and ears on the ground for his dedicated account, SC Johnson. 

Scott’s day-to-day work is focused on ensuring the brand’s products are properly priced and displayed in stores to capture attention, engage consumers and help turn shoppers into buyers. 

“My job is to make SC Johnson aware of things they can’t see every day inside of stores,” he explains. “Along with being the minds, eyes and ears, we are also the hands and visual representation of Advantage solutions, SC Johnson, and their clients.

“I’d like to believe the time we spend: partnering with store management to bring in promotions, to understand how product is moving, talking to customers firsthand about their favorite products or why they like one more than the other, all of this drives value, trust and satisfaction for all parties involved.”

Away from work, Scott spends much of his free time serving others. 

He’s a longtime youth football coach for multiple teams, including his nephew’s 12-year-old squad. He also coached his youngest daughter’s flag football team for two years. Now 15, she’s trying out for a national team. His oldest daughter, 16, is a budding artist. 

“That’s where my checks go,” Scott jokes. “To sports and drawing utensils.”

The flexibility offered in his role as a retail sales merchandiser is one of the things he loves most about his job. Before joining Advantage, Scott worked a desk job at a secured location where he was locked in for 12 hours a day. 

As a single father, the lifestyle wasn’t sustainable. The first six years of his girls’ lives were tough. 

“They didn’t want for anything, but I wasn’t getting any quality time with them,” he says. Eventually, he decided to make a change. 

“I remember the night I made the decision to look for something else — literally two days later I was interviewing with my Advantage Solutions supervisor, Howard Brenner, who’s absolutely amazing. He made it a very easy decision, and everything that he said about the company was spot-on. I’ve dealt with companies that will tell you whatever they can to get you in the door, but Advantage isn’t like that.”

Scott says Brenner makes work expectations clear. He’s able to work hours that fit with his family needs and personal schedule, and enjoys the opportunity to physically connect and collaborate with people versus spending his days at work alone.

“I’m happy, you know? That’s the biggest thing for me; I’m doing a job that I’m happy doing.”

Today, Scott’s blisters are healing, and he says his pain is almost gone. But he still thinks about the family he encountered that day and the explosion that happened moments after they pulled the woman and child free.

“I’m happy the family was OK. My heart dropped when I first heard that kid’s voice. Being a parent of two, just hearing that kid really shook me up. We were lucky to get them when we did. Otherwise, it would have been catastrophic.”