WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - First responders in Wilmington are teaming up with Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM) to rebuild a home damaged by Hurricane Florence. WARM is a nonprofit whose mission is to repair, rebuild and make homes accessible.
“It is the nature of the job for first responders to deal with a situation, leave the scene when done, and then not have a chance to see how their efforts may have led to a quicker recover for the homeowner or patient,” said Wilmington Chief Buddy Martinette. “Helping WARM gives first responders the satisfaction of participating in, and seeing, the full recovery for a well deserving homeowner. In that regard the efforts are personally very satisfying.”
Wilmington Fire Department, New Hanover County Fire, and New Hanover Regional EMS will be out at a build site on Dock St. to help a man whose house was damaged by the storm.
“The owner of the house was planning on retiring to this house; his mother left it to him,” says JC Lyle, exective director of WARM. “Living paycheck to paycheck and couldn’t afford homeowners insurance. When we came here today to do the assessment, you could see daylight when you looked up into the ceiling.”
Many with advanced home repair and construction skills, the first responders will spend three days making repairs to the roof, siding, floors, ceilings and doors.
First responders have worked with WARM in the past, and are firm believers that the work they do outside the office makes a huge impact on the lives of the community.
“A lot of the time we only see people on their worst day,” says Master Firefighter Chris Small with WFD. “We leave them at that and a lot of times we want to be able to lend a hand to help people in the community to do projects like this to give back. This is a small way we can do that.”
WARM serves about 120-150 households annually across Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties.
The repairs are done by volunteers at no charge, and typically includes things like roofing, flooring, sheetrock, plumbing, electrical, window/door replacements, wheelchair ramp construction, and appliance installation, among other things.
To find out how you can volunteer to help with WARM or apply for home repair, click here.