It’s getting colder, which only adds to the worry.
Paul Goodrich and his wife Debbie have had a rough year. Goodrich suffered a heart attack in July, compounding health issues the Vietnam veteran and volunteer firefighter was already dealing with. The attack made it impossible for him to work as a truck driver or even pay his daily expenses.
So when the Brown County couple’s heating and air conditioning units broke, they didn’t have the opportunity to replace them themselves.
“It’s summer, and we know we can live without air conditioning. But not without heat,” he said. “And it’s starting to get cold.”
The Goodriches found relief through Dave and Missie Carlile who own Heating + Air Paramedics in Trafalgar. Through a company program, Carliles was able to supply Goodrich with a new furnace in time for winter.
Dave Carlisle, himself a longtime volunteer firefighter, met Goodrich through the service. Given all that Goodrich has done for his country and community, making sure he has heat this winter is at the heart of being a volunteer firefighter, Dave Carlile said.
The same thing applies to the way they do business, he added.
“I see it as a volunteer firefighter. If there’s a fire in the house, I have to be there. If someone doesn’t have heat, we have to be there,” he said. “It’s amazing to be able to do what we can to help someone who really needs it, and I couldn’t do it for a better person.”
Goodrich devoted much of his life to service. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served in the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968. He was stationed at Tuy Hoa Air Force Base, a strategic base on the coast of Vietnam, on air rescue missions. He is close to other veterans who served in Tuy Hoa; he is active in the Tuy Hoa Air Force Base reunion event, which brings together those stationed at the base to reconnect.
After being discharged from the Air Force, Goodrich joined the Indianapolis Fire Department before starting a job as a truck driver and working with the Brown County Volunteer Fire Department
Goodrich has increasingly battled health issues, including three previous heart attacks and a prostate cancer diagnosis. His fourth and latest heart attack has left him without an adequate source of income.
Then, their heating and air conditioning systems failed.
“If it wasn’t for these people, we’d be in big trouble,” Goodrich said.
Goodrich contacted Trafalgar’s Heating + Air Paramedics to have it inspected and was told the system was beyond repair.
He didn’t know what he was going to do. His daughter and son-in-law, and their two young children, live with the Goodrichs. They need heat.
“We have to have a melting pot,” Goodrich said. “I’m worried it won’t be able to sleep at night.”
Goodrich asked Carlisle if there was anything he could do to help. They have met since 2000 through the Brown County Volunteer Fire Department.
But initially, Carliles didn’t think they had the resources to help.
The couple have been in the heating and air conditioning business for over 20 years. Missie Carlile said the couple and their staff, who originally founded Brown County in 1999 as Dave Carlile Heating and Cooling, were committed to not only providing great customer service, but also making an impact in their community.
“Dave and I have been helping people. That’s what we do,” she said. “We’re going to do everything we can to help people, whether that’s through our own discounting capabilities, or any other way.”
They moved their store to Trafalgar four years ago and have decided to become a Heating + Air Paramedics franchise in 2022. The move opens up further opportunities to help customers.
Heating + Air Paramedics offers franchisees the opportunity to enroll in the Trane Comfort Specialist program. Trane, a manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, works with dealers who meet customer service standards.
Once accepted into the Trane Comfort Specialist program, dealers like Heating + Air Paramedics are eligible for benefits, including “doing the right thing” opportunities to provide equipment donations to those in need.
“We’ve wanted to do this through Dave Carlisle for years, but never had the resources or support to do it,” Dave Carlisle said. “It gives us an opportunity to do what we’ve helped Paul do. As a franchisee, we have relationships that can help.”
Once the Carliles realized they could use the program to help Goodrich, they swooped in.
“We couldn’t have them without. So we thought, what are we going to do?” Mission Carlisle said.
Through the Trane Comfort Specialist program, they purchased a new stove for Goodrich and his family, becoming the first recipients of this benefit assistance. In October, the new furnace was installed. Heating + Air Paramedics technicians also made several trips out to help Goodrich work on new systems.
“The house has been warm. It’s been amazing; I can’t say enough good things about these people,” Goodrich said.
This situation suggests that the Carlisle family is also likely to provide more assistance. Since Goodrich became the first beneficiary, they have helped three others using the Trane Comfort Specialist program.
“As a volunteer firefighter, you have to have a ‘help the community’ mentality,” he said. “It suits the people we represent. It feels good when you can help like this.”