Letter: How the Kremmling Fire Department helped a family
March 1, 2018
It all started when the furnace began to whistle on Tuesday. It sounded like the wind was blowing straight through my house.
Thinking that the old boiler was fixing to blow, I called Aaron at Finish Line Plumbing and Heating on Wednesday to check it out. Within a half-hour he had arrived and diagnosed the 60-year-old behemoth needing to be replaced to the tune of $7,500! Not happy news to hear on a cold, windy day in Denver, I thought. Aaron, the plumber, came back again to shut off the water so the pipes wouldn't freeze.
By Thursday morning, panic had set in. What should I do? The House was freezing cold. I sat in my kitchen with a tiny heater that my son, Henry, had given me and my oven set at 350 degrees with the door open. I thought I could brave it out until the following Tuesday when the new furnace would be installed. As the day wore on, I came to the realization that I couldn't stay there. The house was just freezing. By then my son and daughter in law, Jan, called to urge me to come up to Kremmling, a little town in the mountains.
As it happened, Jan drove down to Denver, scooped me up and we headed up to the mountains. It snowed as we drove until we reached Silverthorne, when suddenly the sun came out spreading sunlight over the snow. Jan had done her homework and found that the Kremmling Fire Department offered a service called "Lift Assist" and Brady Mathis said they'd be happy to come and help get this 93-year-old, half handicapped lady up a steep set of stairs.
We pulled up to Henry and Jan's house where we saw two cars and the Emergency Medical Service vehicle and two people coming over to help us. The EMS people introduced themselves as Cory and Charity. With them was a yellow metal dolly with a seat and straps hanging down. They came over to me and said, "Hi there. Let us help you out of the car and into our yellow buggy." Then, two fire department gentlemen, Tony and Brady, arrived and helped to strap me in and we headed to the front door and up the 16 stairs. With each step I felt the bump, bump. By then we were all laughing and Jan was taking pictures of this adventure with her cell phone. I felt like a big bale of hay that was going to the barn. In reality, we arrived to the warm security of their living room. A fire was blazing in the wood stove. Henry was laughing with the four of Kremmling's finest while helping me to a chair by the fire. I looked up and saw four smiling faces leaning in to ask me, "Are you okay." Overcome with gratitude and relief I said, "Yes, I'm fine. Thank you all for your help."
Jan said she wondered how we would have gotten up those stairs. Describing four phone calls each directing her to another agency, she went with her first inclination to call the Kremmling Fire Department where her call was met with Brady's friendly voice assuring her he'd coordinate the effort.
What the neighborhood must have thought when they saw the Fab Four and their emergency vehicles outside Henry and Jan's house, I have no idea. For me, it was a marvelous expression of their willingness and availability which allowed me to be able to spend some time with my children while the furnace repair was being done in my home.
Mary Broadhurst, Denver