This article appeared in the November 2018 issue of the Georgia's Cities newspaper.
(l to r) LaGrange Fire Department Deputy Chief John Brant, Troup County Fire Lt. Norman Robinson, LFD Accreditation Manager Mike Webb and Troup County Fire Battalion Chief Michael Williams show their
aGrange, West Point and Troup County firefighters held three fundraisers to help raise money for the four LaGrange Fire Department (LFD) firefighters who were injured in a Labor Day fire.
The boot drive, Brotherhood Motorcycle and Jeep Ride, and the Brotherhood Benefit Golf Tournament took place in October and raised funds from participation fees, which were all donated to the victims.
While all the firefighters and volunteers gave out of service to their colleagues, some were more motivated by past experiences.
Troup County Fire Battalion Chief Michael Williams shared that, “It’s hard for the county to just sit back and know the guys in the city are struggling. We wanted to do something to step up.” He continued, “One thing that made me want to help so much is that 14 years ago I busted my hip and pelvis in an off-duty motorcycle accident. If it had not been for Lt. Robinson raising money for me and my wife, we would have lost a lot.”
In addition to spearheading fundraisers, the Troup County and West Point fire departments also provided manpower to fill-in for the four injured officers.
The LaGrange City Council, community members and community businesses also showed support by participating in “spirit nights” coordinated by the injured firefighters’ spouses and loved ones.
The selfless efforts from the firefighters illustrate that at end of the day they serve the same mission, “The fire service—no matter what the patch on your sleeve reads—is a family. The support of the other departments just confirms that,” said LFD Sergeant Mike Webb.
And, those injured firefighters have showed their gratitude and amazement, “The fact that people would reach out and support us so much is unbelievable,” said LFD Firefighter Jon Williamson. “At most times, it’s overwhelming. I never thought I’d need people or money if I got hurt. The fact that so many people are having these events for us is pretty overwhelming.”