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Fire Department Staff Help Replace Man’s Broken Wheelchair

Friday’s Heroes: Firefighter Travis Gentry, Firefighter Jerry Goodyear, Lieutenant Calvin Lang, and Driver Cullen McDonald

March 17, 2017

Albuquerque, NM – Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized Albuquerque Fire Department (AFD) Firefighter Travis Gentry, Firefighter Jerry Goodyear, Lieutenant Calvin Lang, and Driver Cullen McDonald for going above and beyond to replace a man’s damaged wheelchair.

On an early February evening, AFD Engine 15 and Julie Carpenter, an EMT-Paramedic with Albuquerque Ambulance Services (AAS), received a 32B call, an unknown problem, at San Mateo Boulevard. When Firefighter Gentry, Firefighter Goodyear, Lieutenant Lang, Driver McDonald and Carpenter arrived, they noticed a man was sitting next to his wheelchair on the sidewalk. He reported that the wheel on his wheelchair was broken and was not able to move. He explained to Lieutenant Lang, his crew and Carpenter that he was struck by a vehicle the day before which caused his wheel to break into pieces. After listening to the man explain what had happened, Driver McDonald knew they had to do something to get the man moving again. He recalled seeing numerous spare wheelchairs at a church.

The AFD team drove to the church to see if they would be willing to donate one of their unused wheelchairs. While the Engine 15 staff were gone, Carpenter was exploring all other options to replace the man’s wheelchair by placing several phone calls. Her admirable attempts were unsuccessful, so she was preparing to purchase a wheelchair herself. But shortly thereafter, the AFD staff arrived with a replacement wheelchair for the man generously donated by the church.

AAS’s Carpenter observed the staff of Engine 15 go above and beyond their normal duties by successfully replacing the man’s wheelchair which is why she nominated their heroic actions to be recognized. She observed the crew go out of their way to ensure the man’s freedom of mobility and well-being. It is for these reasons that Firefighter Travis Gentry, Firefighter Jerry Goodyear, Lieutenant Calvin Lang, and Driver Cullen McDonald were recognized as this week’s City of Albuquerque Friday’s Heroes.

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