From the Asheville Fire Department:
When AFD Captain Jeff Bowen lost his life fighting a fire in late July of 2011, the Deerfield community responded generously to Mission Hospital’s Fallen Firefighter Fund, but the residents of the 57-year-old retirement community decided that they would like to do more to show their gratitude for the fire service that has protected Asheville since 1882. The result was an $8,000 gift to benefit three emerging, special programs in the AFD.
AFD will be directing a portion of the gift to the Explorer’s Program which helps young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20, who are interested in a possible career in firefighting, to learn more about what is required to become a firefighter.
Another portion of the funds will go to the Asheville Firefighters Pipes & Drums Corps which was formed in 2010 to help honor AFD fallen brothers and sisters, instill pride and ownership in the Asheville Fire Department, and continue a long-standing fire service tradition.
The Deerfield donation will help AFD’s efforts to raise funds to purchase uniforms for Pipe & Drum members. The corps will be traveling to the National Fallen Firefighter’s Memorial Weekend in Emmittsburg, Maryland in October of 2012 to honor AFD Captain Jeff Bowen.
The third portion of the Deerfield gift will go to help the Asheville Fire Department fund the AFD Firefighter Combat Challenge Teams.
The Firefighter Combat Challenge seeks to encourage firefighter fitness and demonstrate the profession’s rigors to the public. Wearing “full bunker gear” and breathing-apparatus, teams of competitors race head-to-head as they simulate the physical demands of real-life firefighting by performing a linked series of five tasks including climbing the 5-story tower, hoisting, chopping, dragging hoses and rescuing a life-sized, 175 lb. “victim” as they race against themselves, their opponent and the clock. AFD’s teams are in their 10th year of competitions.
“Asheville is extremely fortunate to have protection of such a caring and professional fire department. We are profoundly grateful for its dedication and service to all of Asheville,” remarked Mary Sorum, president of Deerfield’s Resident Council.