Firefighters with the Orange County Fire Authority went above and beyond to finish a 93-year-old veteran’s yard work after he fell down while doing it and was sent to the hospital.
Our veterans have given their lives to defend the country and the least we can do for them is to show our love and appreciation for them.
Lori Hallett, the homeowner’s daughter, said Wednesday her father insists on doing his own work. “Really, it’s important to him. He said, ‘It makes me feel alive,’” Hallett said.
After Robert Hallett was transported to the hospital, the firefighters got down to finish what he had started and that had the neighbors tearing up, including Steel Morris.
“I had to get my camera out because it was just so touching to see,” Morris said. He caught the OCFA crew finishing what Robert started.
Fire Apparatus Engineer Tim Crawford described the scene. “Shane was mowing. I was kinda picking up the debris, as well as the captain, just kind of cleaning up. As he said, we don’t leave a mess, so we were just doing what we do and going about our day,” Crawford said.
Fire Capt. Paramedic Greg Chrisman said that although it wasn’t part of their job description, it was part of the job. “I haven’t been to a call where someone’s gone down during yard work, which is actually something that’s not uncommon, where we walk away from the scene and leave someone’s yard a mess,” Chrisman said.
“So, for people to think that this is unique, it’s not. I know that firefighters all across the country and here in California, we do the same thing. We do it all the time. We seldom walk away from messes at the scene of an emergency,” he added.
Robert Hallett is a Navy veteran and the original homeowner loved by many in the community. “Very, very heartwarming to see. It was emotional for all of us who know Bob and love the family and have been friends forever,” Morris said.
“It’s such a beautiful act of kindness. To me, the beauty of it is that my father was the recipient. He’s such an incredible man,” Hallett said.
Robert Hallett’s son, John Hallett, who is assistant fire chief at an airbase in Spain, sent the OCFA the following email:
“To the brave and dedicated women and men of Orange County Fire Authority / Station 65,
I want to offer my heartfelt thanks for not only taking care of my dad but for also going above and beyond with the kind gesture of finishing up the yard work at his home. My family and I are truly grateful for your professionalism and dedication to protecting the community that you serve. We were all deeply touched. And yes, not only does my dad still cut his grass at age 93, but he walks a half-mile every day around the neighborhood to stay young and healthy. My dad, Robert Hallett, is the original owner of his home and has lived there since 1957. He plays cribbage with a neighbor daily and does the NYT crossword puzzle every morning in pen no less.
My two sisters live local and look after him; however, he can be quite stubborn and up until last week, insisted on cutting his own grass. Once he has fully recovered, I imagine that he’ll wish to return to performing his yardwork once again.
The last time he was unable to cut his own grass was 13 years ago at the age of 80 when he battled colon cancer. Interestingly enough, I had the dubious chore of cutting the grass while he was recovering. He stated that he couldn’t wait to feel better and cut his own grass, as I was clearly butchering his yard. I’m happy and albeit a bit jealous to say that he was satisfied with the job you guys did on his lawn. Again, thank you very much. As someone who has worked in the Federal Fire Service for 35 years, you are a class act!”
After Robert Hallett returned from the hospital a few hours later, his daughter said he chuckled when he came to know of what had happened and now lets others help him with his yard work.
Shows the true meaning of “public servants!!” Way to represent..