Mundelein firefighters rescue woman, then finish her yard work
Firefighters often are called heroes. They're trained to run into burning buildings to save people and property, after all.
But Mundelein firefighter-paramedics Dan Mastandrea and Dan Buhrmester are being hailed as heroes not for death-defying behavior but for acts of kindness.
After treating an 84-year-old resident who fell while doing yard work last month, Mastandrea and Buhrmester finished the chores for her.
"Both Dan and Dan are good humble guys that felt they were just doing their jobs," Deputy Chief Darren Brents said.
Buhrmester, a 10-year veteran of the department, and Mastandrea, who's been with the department about a year, were part of a crew that responded to the July 17 call.
The woman, whose identity hasn't been made public, injured her hip. A neighbor called 911.
On the ambulance ride to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, the woman expressed disappointment that she wasn't going to be able to finish her landscaping work, Mastandrea said.
After they dropped her off at Condell, Mastandrea and Buhrmester returned to the house. Still wearing their uniforms, the duo edged the lawn, watered flowers and then put the woman's lawn equipment in a safe place when they were done.
"(We) knew it'd be a nice thing to do and the right thing to do," Buhrmester said. "It appeared she took a lot of pride in her yard work."
The work took 15 or 20 minutes. Mastandrea said. They had their emergency radios so they could respond to a call if one came in.
Fire Chief Bill Lark called Buhrmester and Mastandrea's actions "a great example of helping someone in need and going above and beyond what is expected."
Buhrmester humbly downplayed the work. Mundelein's firefighters appreciate the support they receive from residents, he said, and this was a way to return the kindness.
Mastandrea has a similar attitude about his role in the community.
"We're not just here to put out fires and take you to the hospital," he said.
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