Beaufort firefighter's proposal warms fiancee's heart

abredeson@islandpacket.comJuly 15, 2012 

Beaufort residents Ross Vezin and Shannon Harmon pose for a photo June 22 at the Beaufort Fire Department after he proposed to her.


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The heat was on for Ross Vezin when he recently asked his girlfriend for her hand in marriage.

The Beaufort firefighter was not only nervous about popping the question. He was sweating in his fire gear in the summer heat. And he had something else on his mind, too.

"I was worried we were going to get a call," Vezin said.

The proposal was a combined effort of Vezin's co-workers at the Beaufort Fire Department and his fiancee Shannon Harmon's co-workers at the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. Harmon is a sheriff's technician at the Sheriff's Office.

With the permission of the supervisors at the fire department and the Sheriff's Office, the firefighters went across the street to the Sheriff's Office, saying they got a call about carbon monoxide in the building and that everyone needed to evacuate.

Harmon said everyone in her office knew what was going on, and they played it off perfectly. One of her co-workers even asked how long they would be gone from the office and if she should bring her purse.

A couple of the ladies in Harmon's office planned ahead to take her out to get her nails done so they would look nice when she showed off her new ring.

"They played their roles very well," Harmon said about the firefighters. "They were all dressed in their gear, and their little machine was beeping. So I was like, 'OK, this is serious.' "

After Harmon left the building, she looked across the street and saw a big sign on a firetruck that read: "Shannon, will you marry me?"

Vezin jumped out from behind the truck and got down on one knee.

"I had this enormous smile on my face," Harmon said.

She said she was hoping her boyfriend would propose but had no idea what he had planned or that it was coming soon.

"It was better than anything I could have dreamt," she said. "I definitely feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have someone to be so thoughtful and create such a memorable, special proposal."

Harmon said about 40 people were outside watching. People from nearby offices were standing around to see what was happening.

Even the couple’s family members were there for the special occasion. Vezin’s parents came from Florida to see their son pop the question. Harmon’s parents and grandmother were there, too.

Vezin said he breathed a big sigh of relief after she said yes.

"I couldn't have pulled it off without the coordination from her co-workers, my co-workers and our supervisors," he said.

The couple has not set a date yet, but they're considering early 2014, or sooner if Harmon gets her way.

So, what advice does Vezin have for others wanting to propose marriage?

"Find something that's not too common," he said. "Think about something that would impress your girlfriend ... that you'll never forget."

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