File Photo – Lake County Sheriff’s Office | Photo: Woo-Sung Shim / Lake and McHenry County Scanner

A Lake County sheriff’s deputy was recognized for helping an elderly woman by giving her a ride after she was found walking down the street and confused.

Kelly Kirschhoffer, who is a firefighter-paramedic with the Newport Fire Protection District but was off-duty, said she spotted a woman who appeared to be in her 80s shuffling slowly down her residential street on Wednesday.

The woman occasionally stopped and stared at the houses with a look of confusion.

Kirschhoffer called the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to check if there was a report of a missing elderly person.

The dispatcher was not able to give a precise answer and instead sent out a sheriff’s deputy to investigate.

Kirschhoffer went outside and talked to the woman in distress, who said she was out trying to get some staples.

The woman was walking to the store, which is a few miles away, because she said she was unable to get her car out of her driveway, Kirschhoffer said.

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The elderly woman initially mentioned that she intended to walk to a nearby restaurant to ask for a ride because did not know how to operate her new cellphone.

The deputy arrived at the scene and Kirschhoffer explained the situation.

Sheriff’s Deputy Vasile Pop showed no sign of annoyance and instead offered to take her to the nearby restaurant to get food and drive her home, Kirschhoffer said.

Pop drove the elderly woman away and later stopped by again to update Kirschhoffer.

The deputy said he drove the woman to a nearby gas station, which is where she actually wanted to go, and then brought her back home.

He also checked on the woman’s vehicle at her house and learned it was in her garage and not stuck as she had said.

Pop also called the woman’s nephew and left a voicemail after taking her inside the house and verifying the conditions inside were livable.

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“Now that is how a public servant should act. He went above and beyond,” Kirschhoffer said.

“Please note that I have worked alongside MANY wonderful deputies at fire/rescue incidents. Yet this is the first time I had to call LCSO as a civilian for a public assist of this caliber. Needless to say, I was truly impressed and I think the Facebook world needs to know that,” Kirschhoffer said in a social media post.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said in response that “each and every day the men and women of the sheriff’s office are out there serving the community.”

“We were thrilled to read this post made by a member of the community tonight giving some recognition to our very own Deputy Vasile Pop,” the sheriff’s office said.