Wilmington Sharks give back to a firefighter in need

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Wilmington Fire Captain Scott Rivenbark will never forget April 18.

"I was over with my uncle helping take down a building," Rivenbark said. "That's when I stepped on the metal roof, and it was a rusty spot. I fell through about 18 feet to cement, damaged three vertebrae and broke six ribs."

Rivenbark was rushed to the hospital, where learned he was paralyzed from the waist down.

That's when the Wilmington Firefighters Foundation stepped in to help. The foundation helps firefighters in pressing times.

"So far, we have been able to get out and do some remodeling of the house," said Wilmington Fire Assistant Chief Tom Robinson. "We made the bathroom and bedroom doors bigger. We have built a ramp for the front door so he can get in and out and just supporting the family. That's the big thing and the things we have been able to do."

"It's amazing the support I have got not just from the firemen, (but) the police department, the city, the citizens, families, churches. I don't even know. It's been very humbling," Rivenbark added.

His fellow firefighters stood by his side during his recovery, but as Rivenbark mentioned, they aren't the only ones showing support.

The Wilmington Sharks hosted Rivenbark and his family at Buck Hardee Field Friday night.

The auctioned off jerseys the Sharks wore in Friday's 4-3 victory over Fayetteville SwampDogs with 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the jerseys going to the Wilmington Firefighters Foundation.

"Once you become a fireman, you become part of a family, and this is what the family is all about," said Wilmington Fire Captain Michael Grimord. "Bad things happen to good people and we are out here to support Scott."

Rivenbark is not letting his accident change who he is.

"Don't get me wrong. I hope things come back," Rivenbark said. "But at the same time, I have to use what I got."?

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