Recently four Houston Firefighters lost their lives and several others were injured in a motel fire.
When firefighter’s lives are lost we (other firefighters) mourn. It doesn’t matter that we have never met. It doesn’t matter that they lived and served half way across the country. They are our brother or sisters. We mourn. Then, being creatures of action, we do one of the few things we can do. We pass the boot with hopes of bringing some financial relief to the families affected.
A week goes by and unless the tragedy happened nearby, news coverage fades away. Life’s other priorities wins the fight for our attention. Thoughts and prayers for our “family” in Houston come less frequently.
That’s exactly what happened with me. I wouldn’t say I forgot about Houston, I just didn’t think about it much. And when I did, I thought about the families of those who lost their lives. Until a few days ago.
If you follow www.DFDLegacy.com, you know that I have been very involved in helping with fundraising for Julie, one of our Detroit Fire family members. The tragedy in Houston happened the day before our last fundraising event. The purpose of this event was to raise money for Julie‘s medical care, but she & her husband Scott (a Detroit Firefighter) had our fire family in Houston in mind. We passed the boot.
Two days after the event, Julie and Scott left to get the treatment we had been raising funds for. There were still several loose ends from our events that I was gladly handling. Among them was getting the donation to Houston.
During our fundraising Leslie Marin, a wonderful lady from the Houston area, heard about Julie and was extremely supportive. Her son is a firefighter. Rather than send the donation to a general fund, I contacted her asking for advise on which fund or family the money would best serve.
Her response made me realize how quickly we focus on the firefighters lost, and because of that focus we forget about those we suffered life altering injuries.
Capt. William Dowling was trapped when the hotel’s heavy tile roof collapsed. He was able to activate his PASS alarm and was rescued, but now he is in the fight of his life. His kidneys are not functioning properly, he is in a medically induced coma and both his legs have had to be amputated.
Capt. Dowling and his wife Jackie have three wonderful children. In addition to working with Houston Fire, he worked part time at Champions Emergency Services. He is also served in the USMC where he saw combat in Somalia.
The donation we collected will go directly to Capt. Dowling’s family. Our friend and supporter Leslie Marin has offered to hand deliver it to Jackie for us.
Please keep Capt. Dowling and his family in your prayers. They are on a very long uphill journey and need every bit of support they can get.
If you would like to offer financial support, you can make a donation to his family through this link.