Friday, February 24, 2006

Firefighters Helping One of Their Own

George Stanley Wyant III, a firefighter with Mission Fire Department, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma just before Christmas last year. He is currently on medical leave and is undergoing chemo therapy every other week for six months.

George has been with the Mission Fire department since he was 16 years old. He started out as an Explorer, became a volunteer at the age of 18, and attended and graduated from the firemen’s academy after graduating from high school. He has continued with his education by getting certifications to deal with on-the-job situations and other life-saving certifications that he has been interested in. He has also taught some first aid, CPR and other miscellaneous classes during his employment with the fire department.

This man’s life is firefighting. He thoroughly enjoys the job and the fact that he does get to help people, even if he has to see the ones that are lost. He comes from a family that has a history of firefighters. This is one reason why he chose to be a firefighter. He had great role models and decided to follow in some of their footsteps. There are family members that are firefighters all over Texas and even a cousin that is a Navy firefighter. His great grandfather helped found the fire department in Waco and there are still relatives that work in that area. He has a great uncle that is a Fire Chief, a great aunt that is an Assistant Fire Chief, and his mom's dad helped found the volunteer fire department in Mission and helped build one of the first tankers that Mission Fire Department had, in approx. 1970, with an uncle, Hollis Rutledge Sr. and possibly Ray Landry who his mom believes was the fire chief at the time.

The fire department has chosen to show how much they care for George by having a fund raiser to help pay for his medical bills. The chemotherapy, and other routine visits, is proving to be costly for him. Mission, Harlingen and Brownsville fire departments are joining in the effort to try to raise $10,000 for his medical costs. The president of the Mission Fire Department IAFF Local 3609 is heading this up. They will be filling up firemen helmets all over the intersections in Mission on Saturday, February 26, and in Brownsville as well and Harlingen Fire Fighters will be coming to Mission and helping in this endeavor.

George is planning on returning to fire fighting and continuing his education when he is well enough. The fire fighters are hoping this will help him out and ease some of the stress. For now he is home with his family. He is married to Gloria and has two sons, Joseph, who will be turning four in a few days, and Theodore, who is 18 months old. George is turning 28 today (February 24). He will not be learning of this fund raiser until today and it will probably make his birthday even better.

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