An 11-year-old Cortland, New York boy is a hero for helping firefighters save precious minutes battling a blaze with one simple act of kindness.

Blayke Austen-Hines shovels out fire hydrants in the neighborhood to keep them clear of snow all winter. It's something he's been doing since he could pick up a shovel, according to WSYR.

One of those hydrants was needed Monday, March 1st after a fire broke out in the back of a home before moving into an empty attic, according to the Cortland Fire Department. “The excessive winds and cold temperature made fighting the fire very difficult," said Cortland Fire Chief Wayne Friedman.

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Luckily access to a fire hydrant wasn't a problem for firefighters thanks to Blayke. "If we didn’t have access to that hydrant, we would have ran out of water either going to another hydrant or having to shovel, chip away the ice to get to that hydrant," Friendman told WSYR.

Because of Blayke's dedication and thoughtfulness the fire department was able to easily access the hydrant with no delays. "Blayke Austen-Hines, you are a role model and should be very proud of the job you've done to help the fire department," said the Cortland Youth Bureau.

Members of the Cortland Professional Firefighters Local #2737 dropped off Blayke’s favorite dinner to show their appreciation for his dedication to maintaining clean hydrants in his neighborhood. "His actions played a huge role in the suppression operation on Monday night's fire," the firefighters said on Facebook.

Credit - Cortland Professional Firefighters Association
Credit - Cortland Professional Firefighters Association

Blayke is also getting a pizza party courtesy of the Cortland Youth Bureau. "Congratulations kid, and keep up the great work you do in our community."

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