Above and beyond: Sunnyvale officers rebuild wheelchair ramp for elderly couple

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It’s certainly not unusual for a police officer or a firefighter to respond to a medical emergency.

But it’s not every day that the officers are also firefighters -- and not only did they respond to the call, but they came back to build an elderly couple a wheelchair ramp that had rotted to its core. 

WATCH: Officers build wheelchair ramp

That’s what happened Monday evening at the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety, where crew members are trained in both police, fire and emergency medical skills, along with a dose of construction know-how. The department says it’s the largest fully integrated department of its kind in the country. 

So whipping out a bunch of plywood and firing up a table saw is no biggie for the highly trained crew. 

“They’re pretty handy,” Capt. Jim Choi said.

Choi was speaking of: Lt. Chris Fontaine, Lt. Curtis Barba and officers Gary Cortez, James Perrone and Dominic Bitonti.

The five had been called out to help an elderly couple, after the husband had a fall in his backyard. And when they left, one of the officer’s foot got stuck in the ramp, which was full of dry rot.

The  couple couldn’t do the repair work themselves and said they couldn’t afford to pay someone to fix it.

The public safety officers rounded up some equipment and some basic supplies and came back to shore up the ramp themselves.

“It was a pretty simple job,” Choi said. “They realized what needed to be done. They just wanted to prevent potential accidents.”