SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — Spokane County firefighters went beyond the call of duty this week. One of them even helped save a man's life.
On Monday, an off-duty firefighter with Spokane County Fire District 8 was headed home with his family when he noticed someone performing CPR and stopped to help.
"I think it's just second nature, I didn't even think about it," said firefighter and paramedic Jack Collins.
He jumped in to take over CPR from bystanders who had started it, and then continued leading the efforts when Airway Heights firefighters arrived, as he had more medical training than the crew that responded.
The patient eventually regained a pulse, according to Spokane County Fire District 8. On Wednesday, the family called firefighters and said the patient was stable.
"A wonderful outcome and a great team effort!" the fire district tweeted on Wednesday.
Collins attributes that outcome to the bystanders who jumped in before he even arrived.
"In the end, they're probably what saved this guys life and kept his heart pumping," he said. "To me they're the real heroes in all this."
On Wednesday morning, more Spokane County firefighters performed another good deed. A resident called 911 because he was not feeling well while working outside.
After firefighters treated the patient, they took over and finished mowing his lawn.
Captain Todd Wood said helping out with chores, while not part of their duties, is something firefighters do all the time.
"It's one less thing they have to worry about when they come back from the hospital, and bottom line it's just the right thing to do," he said.
To these men, taking the extra step is just part of what it means to be a firefighter.
"We wouldn't bat our eyes twice, it's just something we would do," said Collins. "I think that's just the group of people that we work with, and who we all are."
"All firefighters do that. We're never really off duty. If we see something, we just want to go out and help," said Wood. "We just love doing this. We love this job, we love helping people. And they give us the privilege of being able to work for them, so we kind of want to pay back."
The district where all these firefighters work is hosting an open house this weekend on Saturday from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. The public is welcome to visit with the firefighters at Station 81, located at 6200 S. Palouse Highway.