SCHROON LAKE - The Schroon Lake Fire Department has been praised for going "above and beyond the call of duty."
Scott Scherhaufer and his sons were involved in a traffic accident on the Northway last August. They received much more than medical attention from the responding Schroon Lake ambulance crew - and he wants people to know about it.
"I'm fortunate that my sons witnessed first hand the goodness in others, even during a bad situation," Scherhaufer said. "We are truly grateful to these men and to their entire department for their kindness and generosity."
Brian Caza, Tony Ramirez and Brian McCoy of the Schroon Lake FD responded to the call Aug. 12. They treated the Scherhaufer family, who did not suffer serious injuries.
That's where the story starts.
With their car wrecked, the Scherhaufers were stranded four hours from their Castle Creek home along the Northway. Ramirez made arrangements with a local motel and the local firefighters transported the family there.
A short while later, Caza returned in his private vehicle and took Scherhaufer to his wrecked car and helped him retrieve personal belongings. Caza then took the two boys, ages 9 and 11, on a tour of the local fire station.
After a night in the motel, McCoy arrived the next morning to drive the Scherhaufer family to Glens Falls so they could rent a vehicle for the trip home. He also provided the family with free tickets to the Great Escape after hearing the night before the family trip to the amusement park was in jeopardy.
Scherhaufer said he offered to pay the local men for their time and efforts on several occasions, but was rebuffed.
"These people had gone so far out of their way for total strangers - us," Scherhaufer said. "Then they gave us a gift (amusement park tickets). I'd heard about northern hospitality. Now, I understand it."