INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It was a busy weekend for firefighters in Indianapolis. There were eight fires in a 24-hour period. Four firefighters were taken to the hospital for heat-related injuries.
Volunteers with Indianapolis Fire Buffs responded to several of those scenes, working to protect firefighters by providing things like bottled water, Gatorade and snacks.
The president of the group, Byron Jacobs, describes this weekend as the busiest weekend he’s seen. He says sometimes the simplest things like water or a snack can make all the difference when crews are also dealing with warm temperatures, humidity and back-to-back runs.
“So not only being drained from one fire, you get back in the engine and go to the other fire. That that drains you a lot,” said Jacobs.
Jacobs is a retired volunteer firefighter and said he knows how important it is to keep crews hydrated, cool and nourished.
“These firefighters are like, ‘There is the rehab support unit! Here is our fluids. Here’s our snacks. Here’s our stuff that keeps us going,’” said Jacobs.
A group of about 40 volunteers run that rehab support unit. They work with the Salvation Army to keep their trucks loaded with supplies.
“We don’t get a lot of publicity, and that’s just part of what we do, but the guys on the street are just…it is unbelievable. They will even take money out of their house funds to donate to help us with things that we need, and that says a lot about what we do,” said Jacobs.
It’s something that can also take up a lot of the volunteers’ time, but some say there’s nothing else they’d rather do.
“There is never a day that it is not worth it,” said Jacobs.
The group provides supplies for police and victims on scenes as well.
As mentioned, a majority of their donations come from the Salvation Army, but if you want to help out you can visit their website and donate online.