Anonymous gift helps Norton firefighters safely save lives

Reporting By Liz Tufts

Every year in the town of Norton, firefighters respond to nearly 1500 ambulance calls…moving, bending, and lifting patients onto stretchers.

But that process just got a whole lot easier.

Norton Fire Chief Paul Schleicher says, “It's definitely going to prevent injuries in the long term because it's a lot less lifting of patients.”

The $15,000 battery-operated stretcher has always been something at the top of the fire department's wish list, but this week, that wish became a reality…all because of an ambulance call they responded to last year.

“They were the last three people to speak to him before he went into his coma and died.”

The woman who made the donation doesn't want to show her face or reveal her name.

“It's a blessing to be able to give this to the fire department and a bigger blessing to remain anonymous.”

She just wants a way to keep her husband's memory alive by helping the people who were the last to help him.

“It's one of the most and best gifts I have done for him.”

The stretcher now bears her husband's nickname, and will help these firefighters safely save more lives.

Tom Schmidt, a Norton firefighter, says “It will help prolong careers and we are very grateful.”

(C) WLNE-TV 2013