KLAMATH FALLS, Ore-- Just one day before the Fourth of July, two local firefighters a part of Klamath County Fire District No. 1 went above and beyond to help a patient in a medical emergency, by installing a brand new A/C unit during the heatwave throughout the county.
"It's a part of of culture," said Captain Dave Sonneman. "We are here to serve."
"We are here to serve the community whether that be taking someone to the hospital or putting out a fire," Firefighter Cody McNerney. "We are here to serve in any capacity."
During the early parts of the morning on July 3rd, both Capt. Sonneman and Firefighter McNerney were called to a home in Klamath Falls, where a woman was experiencing a medical emergency because of the heat in the area.
While treating the woman, the pair noticed that the temperature inside of the home was extremely hot, and after treating the patient, the two noticed a brand new A/C unit still freshly packed in its box on the floor.
The woman couldn't install the unit herself. While walking outside and getting ready to leave in their engine, McNerney and Sonneman had a moment.
"Cody looked at me and said, 'I want to put in that air conditioner' and I said, 'I do too,'" Sonneman said. "I called the battalion chief and I didn't even get two words into the sentence to try and get permission before she said go do it."
McNerney and Sonneman went back to Fire Station 4 to grab some materials and plywood before heading back to the scene to install that A/C unit.
"We are problem solvers by nature," said Sonneman.
After a couple hours, the A/C unit was installed into the woman's home and the pair of firefighters even showed the woman how to operate the machine to stay cool during the hot weather.
But for McNerney and Sonneman, they say that any other firefighter that would have been in that situation would have also made the same choice.
"We work with some pretty compassionate and pretty awesome people," McNerney said. "Any other firefighter in our district that would have been in that position would have done the same thing that we did."
So far more than 100 Oregonians have died from heat related illnesses, 83 of which have been confirmed, in the last few weeks. That number is expected to increase as temperatures continue to remain hot across Oregon.
No deaths have been reported so far in Southern Oregon counties, but at least for now one more person is safe from these dangerous temperatures.
"If we see a situation that we can help someone we will," Sonneman said. "We just try to take care of the problems that we find when we have a little bit of time with someone."
A few days after the medical emergency, a letter was sent from the mother of that patient thanking them for going above and beyond to help their daughter.