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Shoveling it forward: The kindness of strangers

It happens many times every winter: Someone shoveling snow from their driveway has heart problems from the cold weather and effort.

It happened in Greenfield, Wisconsin, which got hit with more than 12 inches of snow Sunday. An elderly man shoveling his driveway suffered chest pains. Firefighters from the Greenfield, Wisconsin Fire Department transported the man to a hospital in Milwuakee.

What happened next doesn't happen all the time. The firefighters came back and finished shoveling the man's driveway.

"They responded to a cardiac call," said Greenfield fire chief John Cohn. "There was some discussion of what to do. ... they wanted it as one less thing for the family to worry about."

A neighbor took a picture of the shoveling firefighters and posted it on the fire department's Facebook page. And the story has started to get social media pickup.

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Firefighters from Greenfield, Wisconsin, fire department shovel the driveway of a man they took to the hospital. Facebook

"It's a story of people helping people,'' said Cohn. "It shines a light on the great work police and fire departments do each day, despite what makes it onto the front pages.

"Anyone can make a difference," Cohn said. "We've started a hashtag: Shovel it forward."