Outpour of support continues for West Webster firefighters

Posted at: 01/05/2013 9:22 AM
Updated at: 01/05/2013 11:44 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

The support for the West Webster Fire Department and those affected by the tragedy continues to pour in.

On Saturday the Operation Patriot Foundation held a walk at the Mall at Greece Ridge to raise money for the West Webster Volunteer Fireman's Association.

This wasn't the only fundraiser held on Saturday.

Fire departments in Greece held a boot drive Saturday morning at Elmridge Plaza. Donations will go to the families of the two firefighters who were shot and killed on Christmas Eve.

The Orleans County Central Battalion Fire Department also held a boot drive at the intersection of Route 98 and Main Street in Albion.

Many first responders have dedicated a lot of time towards these fundraising efforts, proving that even the toughest guys can have the biggest hearts.

They've trained together, they've fought fires together, but now their biggest battle is nowhere near any flames.

“We all feel the suffering together,” said volunteer firefighter Al Camp.

For Camp, this is the least he could do.

It's been nearly two weeks since the Christmas Eve tragedy in Webster. This cruel, unthinkable act still troubles the minds of this devastated community.

Everyone is dealing with the loss the only way they know how.

“We're very touched by the warmth we're receiving from the community for this very tragic event,” said Camp.

“It's nice to see that the community likes to support and it shows the community really cares,” said Chief Patrick Meyers, North Greece Fire Department.

The support didn't end there.

Hundreds of people packed the Mall at Greece Ridge to walk for the West Webster Firefighters.

It was all to let them know they are appreciated and they are not alone.

“A sense of community, a sense of honor and respect for first responders, the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us, our property and our freedom,” said Mark Rossney, founder of the Operation Patriot Foundation.

The turnout exceeded expectations, bringing comfort to first responders who are still struggling with the loss every day.

“Seeing people come forward and step up to help to help us is greatly appreciated and I believe it is helping out a lot,” said volunteer firefighter Phil Vanderlee.

Many say the support speaks volumes, and to these men and women it means so much.

“Even though the tragedy hurts and the fact that we lost great people, the fact is the bad guys are not going to win. When you look out here today, you see the good citizens of this community, you see the spirit of America. We win,” said Chief Todd Baxter, Greece Police Department.

News10NBC is told the fundraising efforts by several fire departments in Greece raised almost $8,000 on Saturday.

The Operation Patriot Foundation organizers told News10NBC they still have yet to tally up all of the money from the walk, but they expect it to be in the thousands as well. All of the money will go to the four families affected by the Christmas Eve tragedy.

On Sunday there will be another benefit for the West Webster Fire Department from 1 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Firehouse Saloon at 814 South Clinton Avenue. Several local bands are scheduled to play at the event.