Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Some Ways to Help HFD

Not all of you may know that our friend and fellow defense attorney David Ryan is also a volunteer fireman.  He was kind enough to share with the HCCLA Listserve ways that we can help HFD in the wake of last Friday's tragic loss of four firefighters.  His email is reprinted here with his permission.

Because so many have asked, some thoughts on monetary donations.

The 100 Club is collecting and distributing funds to the families of the fallen. You can instruct them you want the monies only used for firefighters.

Local 341 is collecting funds to distribute directly to the families of the fallen.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation collects money to distribute to firefighters families, and also to memorialize those who perish in the line of duty. You can instruct the funds be used specifically for the Houston firefighters, but there is no promise it will be used for that purpose.

Anne Sullivan was the rookie firefighter who died. Her family is setting up a scholarship for women who want to join the fire services. Well over 90% (it's either 93% or 97%) of firefighters are men. Details are still being worked out, and I will post this when the details are finalized.

Several of the community colleges in our area have fire academies. You can contact the schools directly and offer to pay for books and other materials for a deserving student.

There are a number of small, mostly volunteer fire departments in our area. They run the gamut - Cy Fair is one of the largest and richest volunteer departments in our country. Others rely on hand-me-downs from other departments. Most are supported by Emergency Services Districts (ESDs) that collect taxes. You can contact them directly about how they handle donations.

The St. Florian Society is a non-profit, honor society for firefighters with a chapter here in Houston. St. Florian was a Roman soldier who converted to Christianity and threatened to ride a wave of fire if they tried to burn him to death. The Romans flayed him instead, and he is our patron saint.

The Bull & Bear on Westheimer is donating 100% of purchases of Firemen No. 4 to the families of the fallen this month.

Teespring is donating 100% of the profits from memorial t shirts to the families.

Fire stations are not really donation centers. If you wish to send funds directly there anyway, please instruct what it is to be used for. We keep teddy bears (and other toys) to give to young visitors and/or children in need of emergency services. We usually eat in, so specify it's for dinner. Volunteer departments frequently eat out to help promote the departments, so specify it's for dinner out on you. You might even specify which shift (A,B,C or D, or Monday volunteers, etc.), or that it is for us while we are attending training. We tend to be sparsely furnished, so specify it is for a grill or a picnic table, or decorations. We have tons of photos that need framing. We buy a lot of movies on DVD.

You could do us all a favor and pull to the right and stop as soon as you see us coming. Stay at least 300 feet behind us - even if in traffic. Turn down the music in your car so you can hear us coming. We lose more firefighters in traffic accidents trying to get to a scene than we do in fires.

I won't be around much this week. I am privileged to be asked to be part of the honor guard. When a firefighter dies in the line of duty, it is our tradition that the fallen are never left alone - 24 hours a day - until they receive their final call/alarm (usually at the cemetery). The last funeral is Friday afternoon. Additionally, I will be on some extra shifts so other firefighters can attend funerals.

Thanks to David for sharing these suggestions.  Our thoughts and prayers are with David, the Houston Fire Department and all of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.


Anonymous said...

I am told none of the four firefighters had wives, husbands or children. Who will be receiving this money?

Anonymous said...

Is this blog still active?

David Ryan said...

@11:44 AM,

Each of the families of the fallen will decide what to do with the funds.

As I noted in the email, Anne Sullivan's family is planning to establish a scholarship in her name. Tradicao Brazilian Steakhouse has developed a new drink called the "Punky" and the proceeds from those sales will go to the scholarship once established.

It is my understanding The 100 Club is having an embarrassment of riches at the moment. Donations are way up, but many are being noted to be used strictly for firefighters.

For those truly concerned but still wanting to help, I would suggest donating to Captain Dowling. Dowling has a wife and 3 kids. Dowling has had amputations to both legs and still needs skin grafts. He's still in ICU and his biggest concern right now is infection. He is not out of the woods by any means.

Local 341 is handling donations for Capt. Dowling, a golf tournament to help Capt. Dowling is scheduled, and I believe there is a Facebook campaign.

@9:13 PM - Fear not. This blog will spring into action moments after something else can be blamed on the prior Administration at HCDAO. In fact, Oboma's team at NSA is monitoring. They figure they could learn a few things.

Anonymous said...

Donations are way up, but many are being noted to be used strictly for firefighters.

Which they are not obligated to honor. And probably will not honor.

eva said...

please don't buy a shirt from teespring.com. they aren't a reliable source for donating money to any of the firefighters or their families.

teespring, when asked directly, claimed to be donating proceeds from t-shirt sales (of the 'hugs' shirt) to the 100 club, but the 100 club has not heard from teespring, much less received a donation.

teespring has also recently stolen a t-shirt design created by the san antonio fire department, and is selling those shirts, again, with no donations to any of the firefighters. SAFD created those shirts, and made a limited number of them available to the public, so that the proceeds from those sales could go to assist the injured firefighters with their medical bills.

teespring has yet to prove they're doing anything but profiting from this tragedy. DO NOT BUY FROM THEM, PLEASE.

source: i am an HFD wife, and we have a group that has been coordinating care and donations since the fire.

there are still 3 severely injured firefighters who continue to receive medical care, and who need help. the easiest thing to do right now is donate blood at one of the many houston-area gulf coast regional blood center donation spots. captain dowling needs it, and it's a great way to help a lot of folks.

there are multiple fundraisers to help the dowlings with their bills - breakfast for bill on 6/20/13 at wolfies, 22522 Hwy 6, from 7:30 a.m. to noon; driving for dowling (golf), at the golf club at cinco ranch, 23030 cinco ranch blvd., on 7/11/13; and a page to donate directly to the family - donatetodowling.blogspot.com.

firefighters livesay and yarbrough are the others injured, though admittedly to a lesser degree than dowling. the union has information regarding accounts set up in everyone's names so that folks may donate where they can:

Accounts have been set up for the benefit of our fallen brothers and sister at the Houston Texas Fire Fighters Federal Credit Union
Captain Matthew Renaud: Account #236014

Engineer-Operator Robert Bebee: Account #236015

Fire Fighter Robert Garner: Account #236016

Fire Fighter Anne Sullivan: Account #236017

Fire Fighters who are still recovering from significant injuries:

Captain William Dowling: Account #236018

Engineer-Operator Anthony Livesay: Account #236023

Fire Fighter Robert Yarbrough: Account #236024

thanks so much for any help - you have no idea how much it means to the entire department to have support.


Anonymous said...

Yesterday I got a mail solicitation from the 100 Club. What poor taste, trying to capitalize on the deaths of firemen.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. Life at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center blog. You will be missed. Well, you were missed until January of this year. Now...not so much.

Just Sayin' said...

Anon June 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM:

R.I.P. The Harris County District Attorney's Office--which includes whiney asses like you--has been AWOL even longer.

The difference between Murray Newman and you is that he is moving forward in his life. Be sure to catch the new TV series, "Cold Justice", starting this fall on TNT that Mr. Newman is co-producing.

Now what exactly is it in your life that the rest of us are missing?

Just Sayin'

Anonymous said...

Hey Murray, when you get back, can you give us an update on the Culbertson litigation, or would that violate your moritorium?

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Just Sayin',

I'm not co-producing on Cold Justice. I'm just a consultant.

Anon 11:32,

I don't know what is going on in the Culbertson suit. I don't have any involvement in it.

Anonymous said...

Do you still get an IMDB credit as a "consultant?"

Anonymous said...

Congrats on Reasonable Doubt being picked up by TNT but why the name change to Cold Justice?