November 29, 2020

Heard County firefighters perform a labor of love

Firefighter JB Guiler (L) and Jeff Coleman (R) worked on a much-needed wheelchair ramp for local resident Martha Grim during their off time.

Firefighter JB Guiler (L) and Jeff Coleman (R) worked on a much-needed wheelchair ramp for local resident Martha Grim during their off time. (Photo: Debbie O’Neal)

(Franklin/Times~Journal) — Some off-duty Heard County firefighters recently spent their days off building a wheelchair ramp for a Heard County resident.

Firefighters Jeff Coleman, JB Guiler, Mark Rogers, Michael West and Deputy Chief Jim Short, not only fight fires and rescue lives, but also fight to make a difference in the community.
Martha Garrison Grim, 67, a Heard County resident since 2006, had a stroke on March 5, 2016. The night of her stroke, being a widow and home alone, she called 911.
Martha stayed in the hospital for 93 days before returning home on June 6. The stroke affected the left side of her body, which has caused her to be wheelchair bound.
Firefighter Jeff Coleman stated, “I first met Martha when I came out on a call, I saw a need that needed to be filled. A few of us got together and decided to fill that need. You have to love your job when you serve your community; we all see a lot of things out here, it helps when we are able to do something good for someone. People need to see good!”
“Since my return home, each time I would have to go to the doctor the fire fighters would come and load me and my wheelchair in the car so that I could get to the doctor and upon my return they would come and lift me and the wheelchair out and back into the house,” said Martha Grim — her voice breaking as the tears of her grateful heart flowed.
“There is so much bad in the world right now. I just want people to know there are still miracles and good people in this world. These guys are amazing and I want them to be recognized for what they have done. I am so thankful for them.”
“Heard County Humane Society also took care of my two pets while I was in the hospital,” added Martha. “My two babies are back home. I am so thankful for the Humane Society. There needs to be something good said about all public service people. They need to know how grateful we all are for them!”

A labor of love, a gift to a person in need that shows us all how it just takes one to make a difference.


  1. She uses a wheelchair, she is not wheelchair bound.

    • My daughter has a ramp built by members of Roopville Road Baptist Church, after she had a brain tumor removed, she is not wheel chair bound but the ramp has side rails and with her balance off this is a big thing. My husband suffered a stroke and walks with a brace he uses the ramp as it is hard for him to go up steps. One don’t have to be wheel chair bound to need a ramp.

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