Florida Fire Crew Mow Lawn for Vietnam Vet Suffering Heat Exhaustion to Thank Him

October 27, 2020 Updated: October 27, 2020

A Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue crew turned their hands to yard work to help an elderly Army veteran suffering from heat exhaustion.

Firefighters and paramedics stepped in when 83-year-old Prince Pinkney keeled over in his yard on Oct. 12. “It was hot, and I got overheated,” Pinkney explained to WSVN. “I just fell right in the yard out there.”

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Prince Pinkney and his wife, Rebecca, with the Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Station 47 crew (Courtesy of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue)

The veteran has chronic weakness in one of his legs since having a stroke some years ago. His leg gave out under the stress of yard work; Pinkney and his wife, Rebecca, usually pay someone to mow their lawn but have not been receiving visits lately.

“He slipped, he just fell,” said Rebecca. “I had him by the arm, but I couldn’t hold him up.”

A passerby dialed 911, and a Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue (FLFR) Station 47 crew of three responded within minutes.

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(Courtesy of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue)

The crew assessed Pinkney, identified that he had heat exhaustion, and cooled him down. When the medical emergency subsided, the crew decided to stick around; FLFR Lt. Matthew Wells recalled thinking, “I think we can cut their lawn while we’re doing this, and next thing I know …”

“It wasn’t much of a discussion,” added another medic. The kind act was caught on camera and later shared on Facebook. With three hands on deck and the Pinkneys resting on the porch, the elderly couple had a freshly mowed lawn in no time.

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(Courtesy of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue)

(Courtesy of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue)

“This is truly what it is all about,” FLFR captioned on Facebook. For the crew, it was an act of gratitude toward Pinkney, who once served as a missile technician in Vietnam.

“Their story is amazing in itself,” FLFR Capt. Terry Maylor told WSVN. “Their age, what they’ve gone through, his history as a veteran serving this country.

“If that doesn’t move you to go ahead and do what you’re capable of, then nothing will.”

The helpful trio paid the Pinkneys a followup visit to check on their well-being later that day. Rebecca expressed how much she appreciated their work, saying, “I thank you so much for cutting the yard for me,” while the veteran added a simple, heartfelt salutation: “Thank you very, very much.”

The fire crew saluted the Army veteran and his wife before leaving.

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