Video: Raytown firefighters help man get home by pushing his electric wheelchair

Raytown firefighters got some unexpected attention this week after a video of three of them pushing a fisherman home in his electric wheelchair became popular on Facebook.

The video has been shared hundreds of times since it was posted on the Raytown Fire Protection District Facebook page Tuesday.

“We are a little surprised,” said Deputy Chief Mike Hunley.

The fisherman, a veteran, had decided to go to a pond in his neighborhood and everything was going fine until he got off the concrete path that led down to the pond, Hunley said.

The ground was soft and his wheelchair got stuck. Some people tried to help but were unable to free him. So they called the Raytown fire department.

“Our guys responded out there and basically lifted a wheelchair with him in it up out of the rut he was stuck in,” Hunley said. “He apparently had been trying to get himself out with the wheelchair and had expended the battery so it was pretty drained.”

The firefighters decided the best way to get him home was to push him in the wheelchair, which has a neutral function that disables the drive train, allowing it to roll freely.

“They pushed him about 7 blocks back to his house,” Hunley said. A fourth firefighter drove the pumper behind to protect them.

There was enough battery charge left that the man was able to get up the ramp and back into his house and recharge his wheelchair.

“We encourage our guys to find the best way to make a difference when they are out in the field,” Hunley said.

“We are happy to see our guys help people, because that’s what we do for a living.”

Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.