“They Don’t Expect any Kind of Kudos or Thanks or Even a Pat on the Back”

In early 2013, 93-year-old World War II veteran Robert Slack of Fort Wayne, Indiana, overexerted himself while clearing snow from his driveway and collapsed. A neighbor, Heather Eracleous, said, “We found him at the end of his driveway, not in great shape.” Firefighters helped Mr. Slack, and he survived. A few weeks later, in early March, heavy snow fell in Fort Wayne, and Ms. Eracleous worried about Mr. Slack: “When I woke up this morning and saw how much snow there was, my first thought actually was my neighbor, and ‘Oh, my gosh, how am I going to get over there and plow him out?’” Fortunately, help arrived. She said, “A fire truck pulls up, and I thought, ‘Oh, geez, he went out and did it again.’” However, nothing had happened to Mr. Slack; instead, the same firefighters who had helped Mr. Slack before had arrived to clear the snow from his driveway. Captain Russ McCurdy said that the firefighters “knew that we got a lot of snow, knew that he [Mr. Slack] was a pretty proud guy and more than capable, but we were out and we just wanted to stop and help him.” The firefighters cleared the snow from the driveway in only ten minutes. Ms. Eracleous said about Mr. Slack, “If he had gone out to do it, it could’ve ended with the fire department showing up in a much worse capacity.” Captain McCurdy said, “I’m just glad we got there, and it wasn’t done yet. I’m glad that we were able to do it for him. We stopped and helped Mr. Slack because he’s a veteran, and I think that’s the least he deserves.” Ms. Eracleous took a photo and shared the good deed with her friends on Facebook, and the photo went viral. She said about the firefighters, “They don’t expect any kind of kudos or thanks or even a pat on the back.” Captain McCurdy said, “It’s just what we do. We just go out and help, and if we can make that connection with one or two people and make their day better, that’s really what it’s about.”

For Further Information: Lindsey Tugman, “Ind. Firefighters’ good deed goes viral.” CBS/WANE (Indianapolis, Indiana). 7 March 2013


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