Firefighters build ramps for man with mobility challenges

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Photo provided (From left): Harlem-Roscoe firefighters Greg Wernick, Sam McNames and Austin Schwarzbach, engineer Marty Green, firefighters Travis Johnson and Joe Quast, recruit Aaron Morley and Capt. John Donovan gather for a photo. They volunteered their time to help build a ramp for someone in need.

ROSCOE - Harlem-Roscoe firefighters went above and beyond the call of duty when they volunteered their time to build two ramps for a man with mobility challenges on June 29.

Capt. John Donovan along with firefighters Joe Quast, Travis Johnson, Marty Green, Greg Wernick, Sam McNames, Austin Schwarzbach and probationary firefighter Aaron Morley took three hours on Sunday, June 30 to use their carpentry skills to help Sue and Fred Roth.

"It's one of those little extra things that make us feel good, knowing that we helped someone and made things safer and better for him. We can't do that for everybody, but we try to help people outside of the emergency part. Everybody is positive and upbeat about doing it. They do it because they want to help the community," Donovan said.

The firefighters took portions of the deck to create two ramps. One ramp is from the driveway to the deck at the front of the house. They also built a smaller 2-foot ramp to an entry way up to the house.

"If he does move to a wheelchair down the road, he is all ready for that," Donovan said.

Donovan said they became familiar with the man after doing lift assists for him.

"We've been out there several times. He and his wife are super appreciative," Donovan said.

Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District is one of the few districts where lift assists and transports via ambulance are provided at no cost to residents of the district.

"We are well supported by the community. One of the bonuses of living in the Roscoe area is that benefit," Donovan said

Donovan said the resident using the lift assists can walk with a walker but struggles to get up the steps. If he falls it can be very difficult to get back up.

"We went out there whenever he needed help. We thought we would go out there and figure out a solution to make it easier and safer to him," Donovan said.

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