Mich. Firefighters Donate Pay to Sick Colleague


How far would you go to help a friend? How about giving up your salary?

That's exactly what a group of local firefighters are doing.

I asked the question at the business meeting, would you be willing to donate back your monthly wage? said Zilwaukee Fire Chief Michael Bauer.

The entire Zilwaukee Fire Department voted yes, and theyre giving their monthly pay checks to retired firefighter Joe Jolin.

Jolin is in need of a kidney transplant and his medical costs are piling up. TV5 spoke with Jolin's brother, who's also the mayor of Zilwaukee.

He was in complete astonishment, said Joe Jolins brother, Gene. He was just very, very pleased and very emotionally taken.

He gave a lot of time to the city, said Bauer. He's been a retiree for four years now. He's been gone, but they just never leave.

The firefighters are helping with the bills, but they aren't the only ones stepping up. Jolin's own daughter is donating her kidney.

His daughter is a donor and she goes to Saginaw Valley [State University] right here in Saginaw and she was a perfect match; the only perfect match that we found in the family, said Gene Jolin. And she said yea, dad you can have one of mine.

Jolin's daughter didn't think twice about helping her dad, and for 15 firefighters, the vote to give up their wages was overwhelming.

Even though Jolin's uniform is hung up, Zilwaukee firefighters are still fighting for him.

Jolin's transplant surgery is scheduled for late November.

E-mail news tips to WNEM TV5, or dial 989-758-2044 Copyright 2010 by WNEM.COM. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.