NJ EMT Overwhelmed by Community's Support after House Burnt Down - News - @ JEMS.com


NJ EMT Overwhelmed by Community's Support after House Burnt Down

The Galloway Township Ambulance Squad Chief organized an effort to collect items the family might need


 
 

Jennifer Bogdan, Press of Atlantic City | | Tuesday, January 17, 2012


GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- When a fire destroyed Steve Helewa's home days after Christmas, the newly hired Galloway Township emergency medical technician never expected to see the steady outpouring of support from the local community.

Helewa was hired as a full-time EMT in Galloway about three months ago and was commuting to the job from his home in Surf City, Ocean County. But on Dec. 29, just before midnight, the 22-year-old awoke to the smell of smoke at his North Third Street home and discovered a couch was on fire.

After helping his fiancee, Lisa Maiorano, and their 18-month old daughter, Isabella, to safety, Helewa re-entered the house to try to extinguish the fire but was unsuccessful; the home was destroyed along with nearly every item inside.

Immediately, Galloway Township Ambulance Squad Chief Ray Adams organized an effort to collect items the family might need. Within hours of putting the effort together, donations flooded in -- some from as far away as the Cherry Hill Fire Department. Emergency departments have donated clothes, toys, gift cards, televisions and kitchen items.

The efforts were magnified when Cooper University Hospital in Camden was informed of the campaign and forwarded an email on behalf of the Galloway Township Ambulance Squad to other affiliated emergency services groups working with the hospital.

"It's just a huge outpouring of support from the EMS community as far as clothes and items for the baby. I can't say enough about it," Helewa said. "My coworkers in Galloway have been phenomenal. They really rallied behind me."

Rooms full of items have been delivered to the family, which is now staying with relatives in Barnegat Township, Ocean County. In fact, so many items have been received that organizers have asked that only monetary donations be made at this point.

Last Friday, organizers held a benefit for the family at LA's Bar and Family Restaurant in Manahawkin for $25 per ticket. It's not yet known how much money the event raised for the family.

"It really spiraled from a very small thing into a very big thing," said Lt. James Jones, of the Galloway Township Ambulance Squad. "I've never seen anything like it. It's really been incredible just to watch the donations come in."

Although nearly every item in the home was destroyed in the fire, Helewa was able to locate one item among the debris that could not be replaced by donations: an ultrasound photo of his daughter. "It's pretty wild. It's not something you'd ever expect to have happen to you. We've been lucky," Helewa said.



Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, fire, EMT, community outreach

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

FEBRUARY 25-28, 2015

Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, Maryland USA
THE SHOW IS OPEN!

THURSDAY SNOW FLURRIES


 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Wesleyan Students Hospitalized for Overdose

11 students transported to local hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver Medic's Family Says Job Stress Contributed to Suicide

Veteran of over 25 years took her own life after a call.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver First Responders Join to Remember Paramedic

Veteran medic took her own life after fatal accident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

22nd Anniversary of WTC Bombing

Remembering the first terror attack.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On March 2015

Here’s a look at this month’s product hands on.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

15 Injured in New Jersey Explosion

Blast captured on dash cam during Stafford Township gas leak.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >