The firefighters who rushed to Rachel Schoonover’s aid last month did a lot more than just ensure her imminent safety.
The 6th grade teacher had been washing dishes at her home in Elmira, New York when a wine glass suddenly shattered and cut an artery in her wrist.
“Instantly, blood was everywhere, spraying all corners of my kitchen,” Schoover wrote in a Facebook post. “I wrapped it up in a towel, called 911, called my mom, and continued to bleed everywhere.”
Responders from the Elmira Fire Department were the first to arrive on the scene, and as they tied a tourniquet around Schoonover’s arm to slow the bleeding, they simultaneously helped her son Declan into his pajamas and kept the two of them calm as they waited for an ambulance.
Since Schoonover’s husband was still at work and her mother had not yet arrived, there was no one to stay behind and watch her son. Some of the firemen immediately volunteered to stay behind and hold down the fort until someone else arrived.
After being whisked to the hospital, Schoonover received some stitches and a tetanus shot before being discharged later that very same night – and she was surprised by what she found when she got home.
“When we got back to my house, I was dreading the bloody mess that was waiting for me in every room,” says Schoonover. “Surprisingly, though, the mess was nearly nonexistent.
“These men wiped down my fridge, coffee maker, speakers, cupboards, bathtub, floors, and even individual K-cups that had been hit. They put the dirty towels in my bathtub, threw away the glass, and cleaned up the blood in my sink.”
Furthermore, they left a note for the young mother.
“Hope you feel better and have a happy holiday with your boy,” said the note. “We cleaned up some shortly after you left. Hope you don’t mind. We didn’t know what to do with the rug though. Have a glass of wine for us and feel better.”
Schoonover posted a photo of the note to social media where it was shared thousands of times.
“While everyone last night went above and beyond to help me, I am especially grateful for these guys,” wrote Schoonover. “Thank you so much, West Elmira Fire Department!”
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