Fulton community raises money for injured firefighter

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FULTON - Local firefighters and community members came together to raise money Sunday night for volunteer North Callaway Fire Protection District firefighter Tim Hays. He is still hospitalized after being injured while responding to a call earlier this month.

On October 5, Hays and other firefighters were responding to a tree that caught fire after a lightning strike near County Road 280 in North Callaway County when a branch fell from the tree and hit Hays in the head. Hays was rushed to University Hospital after suffering multiple head contusions.

Hays' North Callaway Fire Protection District colleagues and other emergency responders held a Chili fundraiser Sunday to raise money for Hays' family. For some, the show of support from surrounding departments was overwhelming.

"It almost brings tears to your eyes," Sterling Mitchell said. "To see this many different organizations to come together as a whole to support one individual, we are all a family regardless of what color uniform we wear."

During the fundraiser, Hays' family took a picture in front of his fire truck. Emergency responders also brought a medical helicopter, similar to the one that took Hays to the hospital on October 5.

"We all leave our families behind and at times it gets dangerous, especially with the voluntary fire departments," Mitchell said. "We do the same jobs. It is heartwarming to know everybody supports us in the way they do and for this many organizations to come together as a whole is amazing." 

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