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September 7, 2017

Fire crews from across the country show their support to firefighters in Harvey’s path

When Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast last month, firefighters were among the first to respond, rescue, and offer comfort in their communities. All while their own families and homes were facing the same dangers. A stressful situation that almost no one, other than another first responder, could imagine. 

A tradition in the fire community is for members of fire departments to share and trade gear like department patches or T-shirts. The State Fire Marshal’s Office helped coordinate an effort to gather T-shirts from other fire departments to show support for the firefighters hit by Hurricane Harvey. 

State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy says fire departments across the country have been sending T-shirts to his office since the idea was first posted by Chief Billy Goldfeder with the FirefighterCloseCalls website. 

“It’s a way for fire fighters around the country to express to their brothers and sisters that we are aware of what they are going through, we are proud of them, and we stand with them.” 

Connealy says the response was immediate and overwhelming. Within days of the call going out, boxes of T-shirts began arriving in Austin from all over. 

“It is off the charts. We had to put the word out that we were covered. The fire service is just an incredibly supportive profession.” 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is partnering with the Texas Fire Chiefs Association to make deliveries to fire departments in and around Victoria, Corpus Christi, Houston, and Galveston and from there shirts will be shared with neighboring departments in Beaumont, Port Arthur, and beyond. 

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Last updated: 9/7/2017