Calif. Boot Drive Nets Over $50K for Hotshot Families

Aug. 4, 2013
A boot drive held by firefighters near San Bernadino County collected over $50,000 for families of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew.

Aug. 04--Firefighters from several local fire departments collected more than $50,000 Saturday that will go to the families of 19 fallen colleagues who died fighting a ferocious wild fire in Arizona earlier this summer.

Firefighters from the Rialto Fire Department, the city of San Bernardino Fire Department, Redland Fire Department and Colton Fire Department along with members of the San Bernardino County Fire Department participated in the Fill the Boot fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

With boots in hand, the municipal firefighters spent the day at major intersections in their cities collecting donations from the public that will benefit the families of the Granite Mountain Hotshot team of Prescott, Ariz. County firefighters were stationed at intersections in Fontana and Victorville.

The Granite Mountain Hotshot team lost 19 of its 20 members June 30 while they fought the wind driven Yarnell Hill Fire that burned near Prescott.

The fundraising effort was spearheaded by members of Rialto Firefighter Local 3688, said Ryan Cathey, vice president of the local.

Representatives of the labor group contacted other departments' unions and together put on the fundraiser, Cathey said.

About 400 firefighters had a part in the effort that will assist the families of their brother firefighters, he said.

"This is what the brotherhood and fire service are about," Cathey said.

In addition to the collection firefighters sold T-shirts memorializing the Granite Mountain Hotshot team. Money from the T-Shirt sale will also go to the families.

For information on how to purchase a t-shirt for $15 call Rialto Fire Station No. 201 at 909-820-2512.

Plans call for representatives from each department's union to travel to Arizona and present the funds to the families, Cathey said. A date for the trip will be set shortly.

Copyright 2013 - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Calif.

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