When family and colleagues heard that Will Heath was on the scene of an accident, they assumed he was helping someone.
Heath is well-known for his sense of humor and his willingness to jump in to help anyone — which probably is why he makes such a great lieutenant in the Allenspark Fire Protection District in Colorado.
So on Tuesday, when Heath’s wife spotted his truck at the scene of an accident, she thought he was just there being his heroic self.
“I saw the truck, and I thought he was helping someone,” his wife, Alysa Mattingly, told KUSA-TV. “And I got a little closer and realized it was him this time.”
She realized the truth even before firefighters arrived on the scene — though when they did arrive, they had the same thought she’d had.
“Yup, I recognized his car from way back, and I thought he was on scene,” Fire Chief Mike Cousineau said.
Seeing the state of Heath’s vehicle, they quickly realized it was their colleague who needed help, and for once he was not the one giving it.
Heath was hit by another driver, according to Allenspark Fire.
Even though Heath was badly hurt — suffering a shattered hip socket as well as other injuries — his good humor was on full display, and he joked through the pain.
“Whenever we’re doing training, he volunteers to be the patient,” said Linda Alexander, a medic with the department. “So you kind of had to put yourself in that situation again, ‘OK this is like training. This is what we’ve already done with him. We’ve put him on backboards; we’ve pulled him out.'”
A family friend, praising Heath’s selflessness and willingness to help anyone, set up a GoFundMe for the family, as they have a lot of medical bills in their future.
“He faces surgery, a lot of physical therapy and recovery, as well as all the expenses of multiple ambulance rides, surgeries, doctors, medications and more,” the fundraiser page states. “The man who never sits still will be unable to work for 6 months (estimated) leaving the bulk of the family’s financial needs unmet.
“Let’s link arms and support this amazing family by removing the financial burdens of this challenging time. I am doing this on their behalf because they would never ask for help for themselves, but are the first ‘on scene’ to help anyone, with anything.
“Please generously pour out your love, blessings and financial support to Will, Alysabeth, Hayden and Junior. Thank you!”
So far, people have donated over $20,000, and close friends of the family hope that as their story spreads, more people will help.
“OK, well, we got you,” Mattingly told Heath on Thursday before one of his surgeries. “We’re praying for you. I love you so much.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.