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Clearwater firefighters rescue ‘Old Glory’

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – First responders with Clearwater Fire Rescue are used to helping victims of accidents and fires, but on Veterans Day, they made an unusual rescue. The victim was Old Glory.

Clearwater Fire Rescue

After eating breakfast, the crew from Engine 44 noticed the flag flying over the Shoppes on Sand Key was tattered and wrapped around the flagpole. They approached Andreas Theodorou, a manager at one of the businesses.

“So, they asked if they can change it for us. We said yes,” said Theodorou. “We tried to pull it down and it wouldn’t come down. So the next thing you know, they brought the firetruck, put up the ladder and they pulled it down.”

Clearwater Fire Rescue

The firefighters, who were off and not available to comment, replaced the flag with one they had at the station.

Charlene Guigli is visiting from Boston and calls what the firefighters did heartwarming.

“It absolutely warms my heart. I think there has to be, you know respect for the flag,” said Guigli. “It’s sort of the ultimate responsibility for every U.S. citizen. And so many people have paid the ultimate price for that flag.”

Clearwater Fire Rescue

Clearwater Fire Chief Scott Ehlers, a military veteran himself, is beyond proud of his people.

“Extremely proud. Extremely proud that we have individuals that think that highly of those who served,” said Ehlers. “We have many members on the department that have served and continue to serve and we want to make sure we show the support for them and those that are over there now.”

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