Wicked Local Northwest, Concord, Mass.
Prayers are going out in full force for a member of the Plainville Fire Call Department who is seriously ill with COVID-19.
A GoFundMe effort was started April 14, for Brett Bertram, an EMT and firefighter in training, to help with medical expenses. In the first three hours, the fundraiser collected $2,185 toward a minimum $3,000 goal. As of 4:20 p.m., it has topped that goal, with $4,025 raised by 73 donors, and still counting — many also sending prayers in comments posted on the page.
Plainville Fire Deputy Chief Richard Ball said the department worked with Bertram’s mother, Stacy Bertram, of North Attleborough, on setting up the campaign. And Fire Chief Justin Alexander got it all kicked off by giving the first donation.
According to the fundraiser, Brett Bertram, also of North Attleborough, recently came down with COVID-19 and is hospitalized. He’s been put into a medically induced coma and is on a ventilator.
“He is a member of the Plainville Fire Call Department, an EMT, and has his career built around helping others in their time of need,” Stacy Bertram wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Now Brett needs our help.”
Ball said the department learned of Bertram’s hospitalization with the virus on Tuesday, and he immediately reached out to Bertram’s mother. As a callman, Bertram is not at the station on a frequent basis, and was last active in March. He joined the department as a callman last April, Ball said, and is in the process of training to become a full-time firefighter/EMT.
“He’s a good kid trying to do the right thing,” Ball said, noting Bertram wanted “to help his community” by becoming a first responder.
In a message via Facebook Messenger, Plainville Selectman Jeff Johnson shared his hope for a recovery and the community’s support.
“Clearly this is a tragic situation. As a call firefighter he has agreed to put his life on the line for our community,” he said. “I know that, as a community, we will honor that and gather around him and his family with care and support to help bring them all through this.”
Board Chairman Brian Kelly shared the sentiments.
“Obviously this is completely devastating news,” he said via email. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Brett and his family for a speedy and full recovery.”
The GoFundMe effort “is to help alleviate some of the medical expenses he and his family will face while he battles COVID-19. Any amount will help and will be greatly appreciated,” the fundraising page says.
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