It is common for city fire departments like Sherwood’s to answer emergency calls dealing with the elderly, including calls about them falling down.
But on one recent call, Sherwood city firefighters admit they were more upset than usual by what they saw.
Members of the International Association of Firefighters Local 4756 say they decided to take matters into their own hands recently by building a handicapped-accessible ramp out of their own union funds for an elderly Sherwood woman who had fallen three times, and firefighters were called upon to help her
Because of privacy laws, John Sawyer, president of the local, said the department is not releasing the name of the lady who is in her mid-70s.
“She has an outdoor deck with steep stairs and what she was doing was she was falling on those steep stairs,” Sherwood firefighter Cameron Lester said.
He said about a half dozen city firefighters helped construct the ramp for the woman.
“It took a couple of hours to build, and we voted to spend $100,” Sawyer said.
He said firefighters talked to the granddaughter of the elderly woman before the supplies were bought to make sure they had the family’s permission to do the work.
“The family told us, including the woman, that they were very appreciative of what was done for her,” Lester said.
He said city firefighters admitted they felt good doing something helpful for the lady.
“We want to help people,” Sawyer said.
He added that he and the firefighters also are happy that they won’t be called upon a fourth time to the lady’s house for the same call about falling on steep outdoor steps.
The woman’s family was surprised when they were told the union planned on paying for the project.
“They told us originally they would have to know the cost, but we told them not to worry about it,” Lester said.
Sawyer said the men were given permission by fire chief David Teague to do the job while on duty.
Teague praised the efforts of the firefighters to help the elderly lady.
“For what they did they really should be recognized,” he said. “They are very much appreciated.”