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Firefighters in Clackamas County rebuild dilapidated mobility ramp after woman's fall

With the help of some supplies donated by a local roofing company, firefighters went out of their way to help someone in need.

OREGON CITY, Ore. — Firefighters respond to many routine calls, but some become a bit more involved. Lieutenant Dale Cook of Clackamas Fire Station 17 responded to one of those not-so-routine calls in early February.

"It was actually a really busy day and we were out of position, but we were the closest unit so we responded," Cook said.

Lt. Cook and his team responded to a Clackamas County house where a woman with mobility issues had fallen on an exterior ramp. The fire crew helped the woman up. They also noticed that the ramp was dilapidated.

Getting an idea, Cook called up Captain Cullen Blake at Fire Station 16.

"I said we got this issue we went to, it's in your area, I don't know if you want to work on it," Cook said. "I said we were so busy that day we didn't have a chance to get back that afternoon, but we'd like to fix this problem."

Cpt. Blake and his crew jumped at the opportunity. They went to the house and lifted the ramp. They then fixed and re-stabilized its bracing before cleaning and resurfacing it. It never would have happened if not for the call from Lt. Cook.

Credit: Clackamas Fire District
A firefighter works on the ramp.

"We kind of talked about it later and said this is one of those things like, if this is my family what would I want to do," Cook said. "It sounds cheesy but we try to treat everyone like it's our family because realistically that's what we're here for."

The woman on the receiving end of the kind gesture wished to remain anonymous, but she is beyond grateful. For Lt. Cook and the others who stepped up to help, that is all that matters.

"We're just out there to go do our job and come home and be ready to do another one so it's nice to hear it all worked out really well," Cook said.

The fire crews were quick to mention that they did not accomplish this alone. The Clackamas Emergency Services Foundation provided some funding. Bliss Roofing in Clackamas donated some materials.

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