Imagine saving up for a once-in-a-lifetime family vacation to an unforgettable destination, like Paris, France. We’re talking months of anticipation — not to mention the planning that goes into creating the perfect itinerary. Naturally, that includes a mix of must-see destinations, like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, along with some out-of-the-way cafes and boutiques.

Sounds like the trip of a lifetime. One that is so water-tight, it can only be dampened by an unfortunate oversight. An oversight such as touching down in Paris, only to discover that your wallet has gone missing from your back pocket.

If possible, now imagine that paying for food, transportation or accommodations aren’t remotely your biggest concerns. This is because your primary obstacle is quickly coming up with the cash to pay for your daughter’s diabetes medication, as she didn’t pack enough insulin for the trip.

Who would you call for help?

It sounds like an unbelievable story, but a true one. The distraught dad in this real-life scenario chose to call FirstBank in hopes of acquiring a lifeline to his funds.

Lucky for him, Lisa Rubenstein answered the call. Lisa works in the 24-Hour Customer Service department, and by the time the call was escalated to her, the customer was understandably upset. Multiple attempts were made to send a replacement card, but an ocean’s distance and a few time zones can make these situations tricky to navigate. So Lisa sprang into action to ensure he had the resources needed to not only take care of his daughter’s medical needs, but also salvage their Parisian vacation.

“At that point, he was really anxious,” Lisa said. “The fact that his daughter didn’t have enough insulin was the final twist to the situation. She needed that medication, and without money he couldn’t get it for her.”

As a parent, Lisa could understand his frustration. Instead of passing the buck by making a few calls, she went directly to a manager in Card Services at FirstBank and explained the customer’s predicament. Working together, the pair brainstormed ways they could get cash to the harried dad — in a hurry.

“There was definitely some teamwork there,” said Lisa.

They decided the best course of action was to do a cash advance using the customer’s credit card, and then use Western Union to wire the funds. But as straightforward as the plan seemed, Lisa still ran into hiccups. The Western Union transaction couldn’t be completed online, leaving Lisa no option but to leave the bank building and visit a local supermarket’s WU service desk.

Murphy’s Law was in full effect that day, but Lisa was undeterred. After multiple trips between the supermarket and FirstBank, Lisa was finally able to transfer the funds to her customer in need. With 24 years of experience at FirstBank, Lisa was able to draw upon her accumulated know-how to go above and beyond the call of duty.

“We could have said, ‘No, there’s nothing we can do,’” she said. “But using our experience and our time at the bank, we were able to think outside of the box to really make a difference.”

If you ask Lisa what she remembers most about the experience, it was the customer’s immense relief when he knew the problem had been resolved.

“He took a deep breath. Like, he finally knew everything was going to be okay,” she said. 

Thanks to employees like Lisa, and their unwavering commitment to their customers, FirstBank’s “banking for good” philosophy is more than just a slogan. It’s the central motivation to do right by every customer, employee and community it serves.

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