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“Shovel it Forward:” Greenfield firefighters take action during blizzard, get national attention

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GREENFIELD (WITI) -- A simple act of kindness by firefighters in Greenfield is getting national attention and it has started a trend known as "Shovel it Forward."

For many of us, shoveling is a dreaded chore that comes with any snowfall but in Greenfield, the simple act of shoveling has firefighters getting national attention.

"We were just trying to help a woman out who was dealing with a really bad event," Greenfield Firefighter Tom Konieczka said.

The Greenfield Fire Department has been fielding phone calls from national news outlets since they posted a picture online. That picture shows firefighters shoveling a man's driveway after he suffered a cardiac emergency on Sunday, February 1st. The man had been trying to shovel the snow himself when he suffered the medical emergency. He was revived at the scene and taken away by ambulance.

"When we carried him out we knew it was just below the knees deep of snowdrifts out there," Konieczka said.

Konieczka was among the six firefighters who responded. It is his figure in the foreground of the photo that has been viewed nearly 420,000 times. The other firefighters involved are: Lt. Dan Weber, Tai Rondeau, Chad Weber, Patrick Chenery and John Cram.

PHOTO: Greenfield Fire Department on Twitter

PHOTO: Greenfield Fire Department on Twitter

"It's humbling in a way and at the same time, anybody else on our department or any other fire department across the country probably has done something like this," Konieczka said.

It took four firefighters 30 minutes to clear the snow using shovels and a plow truck.

"We're a pretty small fire department but we have a giant heart," Greenfield Fire Chief Jon Cohn said.

Chief Cohn has helped start the hashtag #shovelitforward -- asking Twitter users to post pictures of themselves shoveling other people's driveways. He's also using the national spotlight to ask that folks donate peanut butter to their annual drive benefiting the Hunger Task Force.

"We're encouraging our neighbors to be every day heroes," Chief Cohn said.

Sixty Milwaukee-area fire departments are serving as drop-off sites for the peanut butter drive.

Greenfield firefighters say they're praying for the man who suffered that cardiac attack. They say they haven't received any updates on his condition.

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