It makes sense that firefighters would be at the front lines of the effort to help individuals and communities rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
What’s unexpected is that some of those firefighters are from Dearborn.
Half a dozen members of the Dearborn Fire Department are packing up an RV full of supplies and funds and taking a road trip this week to the east coast, where they’ll join efforts to help people there recover.
The idea unfolded quickly after the group’s previous plan to head to New York City to help 9/11 first responders was thwarted by the hurricane.
“We had planned on going this month and everything happened to play out how it did,” explained firefighter Mike Mattern. “So we figured this would be a perfect time to help out … not only with donations, but we’re going to go out and help clean up or rebuild.”
Mattern said they’ll join up with Friends of Firefighters, a local group that offers support to fire personnel in New York City. Right now, they’re support is centered on Sandy.
“Whatever they need, we’ll do,” Mattern said.
The city and the department, he added, are on board with the idea—providing support for the fire team while a handful of its crew members are gone, as well as helping to gather supplies.
The public is encouraged to help, too, by bring money and supply donations to Fire Station No. 2. Supplies are asked to be delivered by Tuesday at 9 p.m., while monetary donations can be handed off until 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Supplies still needed include:
- School supplies
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food
- Hand sanitizer
- Working gloves
Mattern and the rest of the crew will head out early Thursday morning, representing Dearborn in the Hurricane Sandy relief. Still, Mattern said he knows they’re not alone.
“We’re going, but everybody’s got a hand in this,” he said. “It’s a big team effort.”
Mattern and the rest of the team hope to share their experiences in a blog (if they can find an internet connection). Follow their story on Dearborn Patch.