FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- Protect and serve is what Fernandina Beach Police are trained to do. However, after talking with homeowners Action News found out officers went above and beyond their call of duty, after a tornado ripped through several communities.
Most homes were unscathed but the surrounding trees were ripped to shreds, leaving a trail of destruction, that blocked in dozens of neighbors.
"We have a 30 person police department, and we were able to get 25 of our officers on the ground within 30 minutes," said Deputy Chief of Fernandina Beach Police, Mark Foxworth.
He says officers were called out of their homes, and rushed to the scene in plain clothes to pitch in.
"We had officers moving trees out of people's driveways so they could get away from their house or go pick up children things like that," he said.
Neighbors are calling them heroes and say their response brought relief to many homeowners overwhelmed by the amount of destruction.
"I'm in the driveway trying to clear my driveway with my handsaw and the policeman pulls up and he's got a chainsaw, a smile on his face, and he says 'sir I'll take care of that. I step back and he started bucking it up so I could manage pieces and get it out to the curb for picking up today like they're doing, so he was wonderful," said Don Fischer, a local homeowner.
It's a true act of kindness, neighbors say they will never forget.