What was supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year descended into chaos when one man broke his ankle while hanging his Christmas lights. After the mishap, firefighters rushed to the scene to help. However, they went above and beyond the call of duty.
In November 2017 one family were getting into the festive swing of things. They had just celebrated Thanksgiving and were now looking forward to Christmas. So to get the celebrations off the ground, they decided to start decorating their home.
“Our usual tradition is that we will start setting up for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving,” Sandra Elvenholl of Jefferson County, Colorado, told KUSA in November 2017. As a result, her husband, Glenn, volunteered to hang the outside Christmas lights up, with a little help from their eight-year-old son.
Consequently, Glenn climbed up onto his home’s lower roof to begin work. However, when he got up there, he suddenly got a bad feeling about things. As a result, he decided to abandon his light-hanging plans and return to the safety of the ground.
But that’s when proceedings took an extremely frightening turn. “He had decided that it was too dangerous to be up there,” Glenn’s wife Sandra explained. “He was coming back down, the ladder slid out from underneath him.”
Much to the horror of his onlooking family, Glenn crashed to the floor, clearly hurting himself upon impact. Sandra dialed the emergency services and before long a crew from West Metro Fire Rescue arrived at the scene.
When they got there, a stomach-churning sight greeted John Metzler and his colleagues. “His ankle was making a left turn off of his leg,” Metzler said, explaining Glenn’s injuries. It was abundantly clear that Glenn was in need of expert medical care. So, the fire crew transferred him to the local hospital.
It was only then that the extent of Glenn’s ailments became clear. Doctors discovered that the fall had left him with a shattered tibia and a dislocated ankle. After learning of her husband’s state, Sandra wanted nothing more than to be by his side.
However, before she could rush to her husband’s aid, Sandra had a million and one things to do. “[I was] trying to think of so many different things at once, you know,” she explained. “I got to get to the hospital. What do I need to bring? Where are my kids going to go?”
After Glenn left for the hospital, the firefighters stayed behind. In the meantime, Sandra was busy getting herself sorted and wasn’t paying too much attention to the emergency crew. Then, the next thing she knew, a neighbor ran up to her to alert her to what the men were up to.
“One of my neighbors came over to me and said, ‘Oh my gosh. They’re hanging the rest of your lights up,’” Sandra revealed. And they were right. When Sandra looked behind her she saw the crew patiently placing colored lights across her roof.
Suddenly, the firefighters’ selfless actions cast some light on what was an otherwise dark situation. “It was such a sweet thing to see at that moment,” Sandra said. Now, she could concentrate on helping her husband recover rather than worry about her Christmas decorations.
To show just how grateful she was to Metzler and his crew, Sandra took out her phone and snapped some images of them hard at work. Later, she sent them to the West Metro Fire Rescue Facebook page as a sign of her gratitude.
West Metro Fire Rescue reposted the photographs with a caption that explained what had happened to its 15,000 followers. “Engine 13 and Medic 13 responded to a home in Ken Caryl Valley on Friday, where a homeowner had fallen from a ladder while hanging Christmas lights,” the post said.
“Glenn Elvenholl broke his leg and dislocated his ankle,” it continued. “After the crew on the medic transferred him to the hospital, the engine crew stayed behind to finish hanging the lights. Glenn’s wife Sandy sent us these pictures, along with her thanks.”
The post attracted a lot of attention online and before long it had received more than 1,000 reactions and 166 shares. Furthermore, 109 people expressed their praise for the kind fire crew in the comment section below.
“Thank you to first responders for all you do and going above and beyond for this family,” wrote one commenter. “The children will remember the beautiful sight they came home thanks to you – the ultimate in holiday spirit.”
However, despite all the compliments he and his crew received, Metzler played down their actions. “You just turn around and there’s a house half-decorated with lights that are just hanging off to the side with a ladder still up,” he said. “It would’ve almost been a sin not to do it.”
Despite Metzler’s modesty, Sandra and her family won’t forget their kindness any time soon. When Glenn learned of the strangers’ selflessness, he couldn’t believe it. And it no doubt made the two operations he underwent to fix his ankle easier to bear.
Now it’s safe to say that none of the Elvenholls will look at festive decorations the same way again. “[Glenn] was so grateful and so thankful and happy that the kids are gonna have the lights up on the house this year,” Sandra revealed. “The hanging of the Christmas lights will for sure always have a new meaning for our family.”