DALLAS (CBS11) – Their local fire station was falling apart, so a group of East Dallas neighbors reached into their pocketbooks to help fulfill the firefighters’ checklist.
For resident Judy Edwards, it was a thank you gift for service and bravery to the members of Fire Station 53.
“These men and women rush into danger. We run away,” she says. “We have a responsibility to them.”
On Thursday, crews built a patio canopy to give firefighters a covered place to relax in between calls. It replaced one that barely withstood wind and provided no shelter from the elements.
Edwards wanted to help after she saw the conditions inside the more than 50 year old fire station, including a broken air conditioner.
“The kitchen had holes in the ceiling where they have the utility area where the pots and pans are,” says Edwards. “I was appalled. I went before our neighborhood through Next Door, and I said, we have to do something.”
One GoFundMe page and six months later, they raised more than $3,000.
“We aimed for $750 initially,” says Patrick Travers, the East Dallas resident who spearheaded the campaign. “The GoFundMe account surpassed $750 in the first two weeks.”
The neighbors donated a drink machine, coffee pot, grill, furniture and now the permanent patio canopy. A owner of a welding company donated the manpower to build it.
“Having the firefighters have a more comfortable atmosphere to hang out at the fire station is something the community can do for them, and I’m proud of it,” says Travers. “When they respond to my house, I want them to know that the community appreciates what their efforts are.”
The neighbors say the firefighters were thrilled and grateful for the canopy.
There will be a dedication in a few weeks, which will include the presentation of a plaque displaying the names of everyone who donated.