Pace first responders help family after ladder accident

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AARON LITTLE Santa Rosa Press Gazette @AaronL_SRPG

PACE — First responders with the Pace Fire Rescue District took steps to ensure an accident would not repeat.

They finished hanging 72-year-old George Cato’s residential Christmas lights Nov. 30; Cato fell off a ladder earlier doing the same.

Karen Sztukowski, daughter of George and Beverly Cato, was at work with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office when she got the call about her dad’s accident.

“I got a phone call from mother that my father fell off a ladder,” Sztukowski said. “He has some health problems anyway and he decided to put up the lights and the ladder gave way. She called EMS for him to come out and Pace Fire Rescue came with. When they came out, they realized he was trying to put up lights. Then they finished up.”

This isn’t the end of Pace Fire’s generosity with the Catos, according to Sztukowski.

“They’ve seen him since then at Wal-Mart and checked on him,” she said. “They told them they will come back and take the lights down. They just moved out there in May. It blew them away they actually did that for them.”

The gesture took less than 20 minutes, according to Pace Fire Rescue District Chief Robbie Whitfield.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Whitfield said. “It shows they care about our district and the people who live in and visit it.”

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