By Elizabeth Hur
BIRDSBORO, Pa. (CBS) – Every day, emergency responders rush to help someone in need. But it’s not often rescuers arrive to find their own family member in trouble.
It happened on Monday to a father/son firemen team in Union Township, Berks County after the duo responded to a report of man who crashed his car into a house.
One look at the damage, and you would think someone had to have been seriously hurt in the accident. But when that wasn’t the case, Deputy Chief Shawn Anderson, with the Birdsboro-Union Fire Department, says he was surprised. Then he saw who was behind the wheel.
“It could be anybody, but when I looked up to the car, I was more surprised than anybody. I asked him if he was okay, and he said, ‘Yeah, I just got a couple cuts and my head’s okay, but I think I broke my glasses.’ Here’s a 90-year-old guy that was more concerned about his glasses than anything else, and he just wanted to talk to his son and his grandson,” Anderson says.
For good reason: the driver’s grandson is the assistant chief of the Birdsboro-Union Fire Department, Scott Kulp. The driver’s son is the department’s retired chief, Vern Kulp III.
And on this day, both happened to answer the call for help, only to arrive and find their patriarch in the driver’s seat.
Police tell us the accident happened shortly before 4 o’clock Monday afternoon. The driver was apparently leaving the Birdsboro Cemetery just across the street from the home in the 900 block of East Main Street when, for some reason, instead of turning, he sped across the street until his car came to a crashing halt.
Vern Kulp III said, “My father said he was going out of the Birdsboro Cemetery there, down that lane across 724 and looked both ways, didn’t see any traffic coming. So he accelerated, and as soon as he did, the car really took off on him.”
Kulp III may be retired, but we’re told it’s common to see him out on accident scenes, as he continues to give his time to serve his community. Friends say it’s a trait he learned from his father, who served his country.
“He’s 89; he’ll be 90 in May. He’s a veteran, he was a POW. He was in WWII in Germany, and he was the Battle of the Bulge and everything and came back after the war was over on a hospital ship,” Kulp said.
The cause of the accident remains under investigation. But whatever the cause, the 89-year-old will remain hospitalized overnight as a precaution. Friends say that fortunately, the born fighter and survivor is expected to make a full recovery after he is treated for cuts and bruises.