Paramedics take man to hospital, return to his home, finish raking leaves

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MEHLVILLE, MO (KTVI) - Two Mehlville paramedics went way beyond the call of duty, Monday.  They rushed man to a hospital then went back to his home. The man's neighbors and his family were amazed by what happened next.

The man had been on a ladder, cleaning the leaves from his roof and gutter.  He broke his leg badly when he fell from the ladder.

For paramedics John Grass and Matt Runge, the job didn’t end at the ER.

“Pretty much right after the call, we just decided since he was going to be out of commission for a while we’d go back grab our blower and a couple of rakes and just kind of help him out,” Grass said.

“He had a pretty bad injury.  We thought ‘hey, let’s go back there, finish the job, finish doing his leaves for him’ and give him a little surprise when he came home,” said Runge.

So, the same two guys who’d just helped the man and his wife through their frightening emergency, came back clean up his leaves.  Another off-duty firefighter happened to drive by:  he pitched in, too.

“We ran out of bags.  One of the off duty guys saw us working and brought over a tarp and trailer and made it easier;  raked them up onto the tarp and made it a lot easier; just in time too, because we caught another call right when we were finishing up,” Grass said.

“We like to think we can build a fireman but we can’t build that character that people just inherently have.  These two gentlemen, they have that character,” said Mehlville Fire Protection District Chief, Brian Hendricks.

Grass and Runge were of the same mold of everyone else in the close to 130 member department, he said.

They were known for more than saving lives.

Along with raking residents’ leaves, the staff has changed tires, shoveled snow, even visited an elderly woman simply because she was lonely.

“She lost her husband.  She didn’t have any family.  She was sad.  Off-duty they go up and they have lunch with her.  It’s just a testament to the caliber of people we have,” Hendricks said.  “They don’t do it for this sort of recognition.”

“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” Grass said.

A relative of the fall victim told FOX 2 the man and his wife wanted to maintain their privacy but also wanted to make sure the paramedics got some sort of recognition for going “above and beyond”.