Firefighters, good Samaritan help disabled veteran get home
Two different fire departments and a stranger helped Ed DeKnight get home safely after he found himself stranded at the grocery store
By FireRescue1 Staff
NEWPORT, Ky. — Firefighters helped get a disoriented veteran home after he found himself stranded at a grocery store.
WLWT reported that Korean War veteran Ed DeKnight, 84, lives alone and uses a motorized wheelchair to get around.
After falling and hurting himself at his apartment, DeKnight took a bus to the hospital to be treated.
"I tripped over three steps, and I tripped a second time. I missed two steps," Deknight said.
DeKnight was later discharged from the hospital. He realized when he tried to go home that his bus route had stopped running for the night, so he rode his wheelchair to a nearby grocery store to get help.
"They should have emergency ways for people to get home, especially if they are disabled, especially if they have chairs," Deknight said. "I was just sort of stuck there until I got somebody to help me."
Several grocery store employees called different companies to try and set up a transport for DeKnight, but none of them were able to pick him up.
DeKnight stayed stranded at the grocery store for four hours until shopper Sam Landis came up with the idea to contact the fire department.
"This man was truly stranded; 84-year-old war veteran and people were kind of walking on by," Landis, who runs a nonprofit that helps homeless veterans, said. "It just breaks my heart to see that veterans have to suffer like this. I think this is the start of a good friendship."
A Newport Fire Department crew loaded DeKnight and his wheelchair into Landis’ van, and a Dayton Fire Department crew went to DeKnight’s apartment to help unload the chair once they arrived.
"I would have never made it home without him," Deknight said of Landis.