To the Rescue: Hamilton Co. firefighters turn to unique fundraiser for Fallen Firefighter Memorial

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CARMEL, Ind. (February 22, 2016) – Hamilton County firefighters raised more than $35,000 dollars through a project that garnered social media buzz for months.  The first responders created the 2016 firefighter calendar to collect funds for the Fallen Firefighter Memorial. But, there is so much more to what the firefighters do for the community on a daily basis. CBS4 This Morning tagged along for a day in the life of a Carmel firefighter to show how they come “To the Rescue” when people need it most.

Inside the Carmel fire station, there is a publication that gets most of the firefighters talking. The 2016 calendar showcases several of the department’s firefighters. The photos led to the sale of around 3,000 calendars and put the men, somewhat hesitantly, in the limelight.

“Ripping from guys in firehouse started coming,” said firefighter Justin Cox, one of the men featured in the calendar. “A lot of us said we’d be more comfortable running into burning building than putting ourselves out there.”

So, we wanted to turn the attention to what the men in uniform really deal with on a regular basis.  The CBS4 This Morning crew rode along on emergency calls on Engine 41, the busiest engine in the whole county.

“We never know what our day is going to bring,” said firefighter Tim Griffin.

Within minutes of our arrival at the firehouse, the alarm goes off.

“As soon as you hear it you immediately go,” Griffin said. “Certain runs are going to peak it more, get your adrenaline going.”

The call involves a woman having a medical emergency. Cox is the engineer tasked with driving his crew to the scene.

“You have to do defensive driving as we drive the fire truck,” Cox said. “It’s a position that we may pay the price to save somebody else but we’re kind of prepared for that.”

Carmel fire trucks went out the door more than 15,500 times in 2015, with emergency responses up 15 percent over the last two years.

The fast-paced ride-along continues as another call comes in for a fire at a Carmel apartment complex. Firefighters say the high-stress nature of the job creates deep bonds between crew members. The seriousness of the job balanced out with laughs inside the fire station – now with 12 months worth of material.

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