EP Fire District 3 firemen follow Chief Iverson’s philosophy on service first

The following human interest article was sent to the Independent by Wendy VonHolle, who owns Happy Feet by Wendy.

She has a dear friend who is 94-years old and lives in Eagle Point. For the past year, she has had a problem with swollen ankles. Wendy had tried to get those who came in contact with her to get some wood or bricks to elevate the bottom of her bed. Gravity would work during the night to reduce the swelling if her feet were higher than her heart. Using a pillow wasn’t the answer, as her feet would fall off the pillow and to some degree that could be uncomfortable.

The swelling was getting worse. So one day Wendy drove over to the Eagle Point Fire Department. They were in the middle of a meeting, but listened to her need. Wendy asked if they would please take over the project and get something to elevate the foot of the bed of the 94-year-old.

Firefighter Brian responded immediately and followed Wendy to the elderly woman’s home. He took along Jim, who Wendy described as a nice, tall fella in high school, to help and observe.

Brian evaluated the entire situation and recalled the fire department had been there previously to help the woman. Brian went to his own home and returned with some slabs of wood, already hammered three thick. Wendy stretched out on the bed to see if the foot was too elevated. It was. So Brian and Jim reduced the thickness to two pieces under each leg at the bottom of her bed. This was not an easy task. The king-size bed was heavy.

It was decided to let her sleep that night with two pieces of wood blocking the bed up and Brian returned the next day to check on her. He decided one thickness would do the job. The following week he returned two more times to evaluate the situation. It has worked out very well.

The family was amazed that Brian would go to so much trouble. But Wendy said she wasn’t surprised. Since moving to the valley almost three years ago from Cincinnati, she said she has found most Oregonians to be much more helpful, friendly and compassionate than the folks back east.

While Wendy was talking during the first visit, she shared the secret to success in life with Jim. She said the secret, whether in school, work or in every day life is to always do more than you’re expected to, even if no one is watching you.

Brian refused to accept any money to buy a huge pizza for the department. Next time you see a firefighter or police officer on the street, shake their hand or ask if you can give them a little hug. Wendy says she does it several times a year. The world needs more hugs.

“My deepest thanks to Brian and Jim,” said Wendy. “Eagle Point Fire Department not only puts out fires, but comes to the rescue in other emergency situations.”


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