Sunday, August 31, 2014

Man suffers heart attack while mowing lawn; Responding firefighters bring him to the hospital, and return to finish the mowing for him



For the firefighters and EMTs of Station 4 in Baytown it was another normal assignment: rushing to a 911 call to help save someone's life.
But to the family and neighbors of John McCormick it was it was beyond normal. It helped restore a bit of their faith in humanity and the kindness of strangers.
McCormick, 65, had a history of heart problems - a quadruple bypass more than a decade ago and other lingering health issues. Tuesday afternoon he suffered a heart attack while mowing the yard of his Baytown home. He went inside his house and collapsed where his family called for help.
Engine 4, Medic 4, and Medic 2 responded. EMT's performed CPR and got a pulse again. And per standard operating procedure, the crew of Engine 4 followed the ambulance to the hospital.
But when they left the hospital to drive back to Station 4, engine driver Luke Bednarek had an idea. Why not go back to the McCormick home and finish mowing his yard for him.
"We're all fighting over who can push the mower first," said Station 4 Lt. J.D. Giles.
"I just happened to get off the truck first and grabbed the lawnmower first. We were all fighting over it," said firefighter Blake Steffenauer.
They took turns behind John McCormick's lawn mower. They finished the backyard too, locked the garage, put the padlock key in the mailbox, and Giles left a handwritten note to Patsy McCormick that said in part "we felt bad that your husband didn't get to finish the yard, so we did."
And they didn't think it was that big a deal.
"No not at all. Just something to help someone out in the worst time of their life," said Giles.
"They already got stuff they've got going on that's more important," added Steffenauer. "Yard work shouldn't be something they'd have to finish up. So we were happy to come back and take care of that."
But it was a letter, and a gesture, that made a daughter weep.