Firefighters finish mowing lawn for elderly patient who collapsed in yard

Photo from Gresham Fire Dept. shows firefighter as he finished mowing the lawn for a 77-year-old patient who collapsed while doing yard work on May 23. 2019. 

A fire station in Oregon is being applauded for demonstrating what it means to be a part of a community and going above and beyond for your fellow residents.

Last week, Gresham firefighters on Engine 72 were called to a home where an elderly man had passed out in his yard.

77-year-old Steve Weeks was mowing his lawn when his wife looked out the window and noticed he had collapsed.

"She went out and tried to wake him and called 911. And our engine responded along with AMR," Gresham Fire Department spokesman Reggy Becker explained to KTVU.

Emergency crews arrived on scene, tended to the man and rushed him to the hospital.

Once AMR crews left with the patient, firefighters remained behind to clean up their medical emergency supplies. That's when they noticed Weeks had been working on his yard and had some yet unfinished mowing to do.

Weeks's wife, JoAnn, who was quite rattled by her husband's condition, was gathering her belongings to rush off and join him.

So without much thought, firefighters decided to help out the couple. 

"She was getting her keys and purse and getting ready to go to the hospital and hears the lawn mower fired up and the crew mowing the lawn," Becker said. 

In the midst of the extremely stressful situation and worry for her husband, she was overcome with appreciation as she left for the hospital. 

"We obviously try and support our community the best we can," Becker explained. "They call us on their worst day, and if we can go above and beyond to help, it's something we attempt to do." 

It's a motto the fire department seems to carry to every call. 

Just a week prior, one of its crews responded to an emergency at a home where a resident had been on top of his shed working on some roofing.

"He kind of collapsed up there and our crew was called out to some kind of medical emergency," Becker explained.

AMR transported the patient to the hospital, and then firefighters on scene noticed there were a few pieces of roofing that were left to install.

They responded by saying, "Let's see what we can get done," Becker explained, noting a captain on that call had previously worked as a roofer, so he had some how-to knowledge.

They ended up finishing the roofing job. 

"We're just trying to do our best job we can to help the community," Becker said.

And it appears, Gresham firefighters' idea of community is not contained to the one they live in.

Last November, during Northern California's devastating Camp Fire, members of the department were among those who  took to the firelines in Butte County. Two engines traveled 12 hours south as part of a strike-team to help fight what ended up being the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.

The resident who passed out while mowing his lawn was treated and released from the hospital and is now back home. During a frightening moment, those who were called on came to his aid and not only responded to the health scare but showed that they really cared. 

In a Facebook post, recounting what the crew did that day, the fire department praised the team for their dedication to those they serve.

"Great job by this crew providing excellent customer service," the post said, "and reminding us all what taking care of others is all about!" The post was marked with the hastag "#community."

This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.