HUDSON, Fla. -- Pasco County firefighters who helped save a man's life and then finished his yard work last Saturday are getting national attention.

  • Gene Work was laying sod in his yard when he began to have a heart attack
  • The firefighters that saved his life returned to finish the yard work
  • Their Facebook post detailing the experience has since gone viral
  • Work had the chance to meet and thank the fire fighters in person

On Tuesday they finally got to meet the family they helped out.

The team thought they were at Station 10 to be recognized by their chief. Instead, they met Melissa and Gene Work, along with their two kids, Bella and Blake.

"We've just been waiting for the last few days and say 'thank you' for saving their life [sic]. Coming back to the house, it was just unbelievable," Gene said.

The Works wanted to thank the firefighters who not only helped save Gene's life after he had a heart attack at their Hudson home on Saturday, but also then finished laying the sod he’d been working on.

It saved the sod and helped the couple avoid an HOA fee.

"Everybody collectively wanted to do it," said firefighter Jason Freiesleben. "There was no discussion, no conversation about it. It was the right thing to do."

The first responders said that once Gene was inside the ambulance, he was still worried about his sod work. So when they dropped him off at the hospital, they all decided they would finish that work for him.

"We got him to the hospital and we kicked it around," said Boyd Marshall. "They we said, 'Let's just go do it. It won't take us that long. Let's go knock it out real quick.' And that’s what we did."

The firefighters say they didn't even want to be thanked or get all this attention. They just wanted to help a family in need and surprise them with the yard work.

"They've said and done the kindest things," Melissa said. "They said they would do it again and they were happy to help."

The couple first posted their thanks on Facebook in a post that’s now gone viral. ​