AP NEWS

Converse firefighters go above and beyond with unusual duty

April 9, 2019

And “The Golden Lawnmower Award” goes to … the Converse Fire Department.

With nice weather returning to the area last week, Converse resident Kevin Roberts felt well enough to go out and mow his yard. Roberts had been convalescing at home after several surgeries to repair a leg injury.

Roberts went to his backyard, fired up his Craftsman mower and took off. But he didn’t get far. He reinjured his leg, snapping his femur.

“The A-shift answered a 911 call to find a gentleman laying on the ground, in obvious distress,” Converse Fire Chief Luis Valdez said. “He explained his recent injury, and said that he thought he felt well enough to get out ... and then he felt it snap.”

Valdez said the crew’s primary concern was to splint the leg “and not cause any more injury.”

Roberts was eventually placed in an ambulance after being stabilized and was whisked away to the hospital. “He was just glad to have the help,” the chief said.

Converse EMTs make about 4,000 runs a year, many in answer to home accidents. “It was pretty routine, to be honest with you,” Valdez said.

Roberts had made only a couple of passes with his mower before he went down. After the medical crews left, a member of the engine company, Delmiro Soliz, was still on the scene.

“Firefighter Soliz just said, ‘I’m going to finish mowing his yard.’ He just grabbed the mower, started it back up and took off across the yard,” Valdez said, as another firefighter whipped out a phone and snapped a couple of photos of Soliz in action.

Soliz recently recounted that day’s call and response.

“It was the whole crew’s idea,” Soliz said, about the good deed. We said to the captain, ‘Hey, it’d be a good idea to help the gentleman finish up the yard.’ ”

Valdez said the captain agreed and the firefighters went to work.

“They stayed there, straightening the yard up, pulling some weeds, just doing everything that Mr. Roberts probably would have done.”

The crew, Valdez said, didn’t do the yard work for any recognition of any kind.

“They just thought it was the right to do. It’s just a measure of the type of guys we have. They made me proud,” he added.

Roberts’ response, Valdez said, was summed up in an email to the chief: “They mowed my freakin’ lawn!”

Soliz said the crew always tries to do its best at times when the people they are interacting with are not at their best.

“It was something that made us happy knowing that when he came home, he was surprised,” Soliz said.

jflinn@express-news.net