Local fire departments contribute to national effort for sick teenager

Friday, March 30, 2018
Spearheaded by Chief Lee Price of the Madison Township Fire Department, eight local departments sent T-shirts to New York for Timmy Richardson, a 16-year-old firefighter-in-training who had to put his training on hold when he was diagnosed with cancer. Local departments contributing include (from left) Russellville, Reelsville, Jefferson Township, Madison Township, Greencastle and Roachdale, as well as (not pictured) Clinton Township, Floyd Township and Bellmore. Madison Township also sent a helmet and made Richardson an honorary member.
Banner Graphic/Jared Jernagan

When Madison Township Fire Department Chief Lee Price read about Timothy Richardson early in March, he knew he wanted to join a national show of support for the New York teen.

Richardson, 16, is a part of the Hy-View fire company’s explorer program in Cheektowaga, N.Y.

However, he had to put the pursuit of his firefighting dreams when he was diagnosed with T-cell leukemia.

To keep his goals close at hand, though, Richardson and his family sent out a request for shirts from different fire companies. Timmy, as his friends call him, wanted to wear a different fire company’s shirt every day he is in the hospital.

The family shared it on their Facebook page, Timmy’s Battle, and that’s where Price found it.

“Somebody had shared it on Facebook and I became aware of it,” Price said. “Of course, 90 percent of my Facebook is firefighting stuff.”

Of course, getting a Madison Township shirt was easy, but Price hoped to do a bit more, so he reached out to the rest of the county.

What resulted is an effort that ended up including more than half the departments in the county, as well as one from Parke County.

On Monday, having gathered all he could, Price sent off T-shirts from the departments Madison Township, Greencastle, Roachdale, Russellville, Jefferson Township, Reelsville, Floyd Township and Clinton Township, as well as Bellmore from Parke County.

Price is a member of the Bellmore Fire Department as well.

Pretty much everyone Price talked to wanted to be involved, but some didn’t have T-shirts on hand and couldn’t have gotten an order turned around in time.

One other special touch Price added was to send Richardson a Madison Township helmet. The one Price sent — No. 307 — is like new, worn perhaps on a few runs but never into a fire. The department has since changed helmet styles.

Price saved one more surprise for Richardson when he opened the package from Putnam County.

“We also made him an honorary member on our roster,” Price said.

The response to the request on Timmy’s Battle has been overwhelming, with the hospital in Buffalo flooded with T-shirt deliveries and firefighter visits. Media reports from around the country have highlighted various efforts on Timmy’s behalf.

Any other firefighters interested in contributing may send shirts or patches to Timothy Richardson, U-Crest Fire Department, 255 Clover Place, Cheektowaga, NY 14225.

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