I’ve lived in Beverly for 25 years but had never called the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) until the night of Jan. 16.

That’s when I came home from a local hospital after eight days and two surgeries for a broken leg and there was no way that my wife and the slender young driver for the non-emergency transportation provider were going to get all 6’3” and 200-plus pounds of me up the stairs and into the house.

However, within a few minutes of calling for assistance from the CFD, a lieutenant and two firefighters pulled up and used a carry chair to get me inside in one piece.

They were friendly, knew exactly what to do and said it was no big deal.

Maybe it wasn’t a big deal for them, but it was for me and my wife.

CFD personnel have helped me twice since I’ve needed to get out for follow-ups with the doctor. Each time, the crew was prompt and professional.

I hope to be back on my feet soon, and I hope others will use this assistance only when they really need it. But, it’s great to know that CFD responders are there when I need them.

John Dowling