Firefighters go beyond call of duty to help 91-year-old with yard work

Posted:  Oct 10, 2015
"It just was a surprise, a pleasant surprise," said Muriel Haglund of Steilacoom.

PIERCE COUNTY -- A West Pierce Fire and Rescue crew is being credited for going beyond the call of duty this week after they gave a helping hand to a 91-year-old woman during a false alarm.

"It just was a surprise, a pleasant surprise," said Muriel Haglund of Steilacoom.

At 91 years old, Haglund keeps busy doing her own yard work. She often gets help from neighbors and family but this week she got some unexpected help from three West Pierce Fire & Rescue firefighters. 

"I saw the fire truck pull up and I thought 'Well, what are they doing?'' recalled Haglund. 

At the time, Haglund didn't know the firefighters were responding to a medical call at her home. 

"(The firefighter) said 'Mrs. Haglund?' and I says 'Yes?' He says 'Are you all right?' and I says 'Yes.' He said 'Well, they had a call from the Lifeline people,'" said Haglund who accidentally hit her Lifeline alert necklace but didn't realize it. 

"I had a small rake in my hands when they came and that's why they decided to help me," said Haglund. "I'm very grateful they did."

"We just looked at her and said 'This is the time to do the right thing . She's got more rakes here.' We grabbed them and just jumped in and started raking," said Captain Curtis Zieseniss of West Pierce Fire & Rescue. 

The three firefighters raked until the yard was spotless. It was a small act of kindness that's now getting reaction from people throughout the community. 

"Very unexpected to us just because it's part of our culture; something that we do around here from the top-down," said Zieseniss. "If we see somewhere where we can be useful and helpful we try to do that whenever it's possible."

A Steilacoom Police officer snapped a photo of the firefighters cleaning up the yard, likely knowing the firefighters were too humble to share their good deed with others.

"It's nice to be recognized but little things like that go on not only in our department but fire departments across the country," said firefighter Collin Murphy. "Doing the right thing- it's not expected, it's not necessary; we just do it any way."

Haglund said throughout the years she's gotten help from police and fire crews for medical emergencies but never something like this and for that she's grateful. 

"I should have given them a hug I guess for doing that," said Haglund with a smile. 

The firefighters spent about a half hour cleaning up the yard. There were no other 911 calls during that time but if there was an emergency the crew would have responded. 

Firefighter Gary Glasgow also helped clean-up Haglund's yard; he was not on duty during the interview on Saturday.

« back to top