Island Helping Island: Area fire departments aiding recovery efforts in the Bahamas

Island Helping Island: Area fire departments aiding recovery efforts in the Bahamas

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Firefighters from Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and the Wilmington fire departments took off from Air Wilmington Monday morning, heading to the Bahamas in an effort to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Dorian.

“We’re going to be supporting Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue and working with them," said Carolina Beach Fire Chief Alan Griffin. "We’re going to help rebuild their station and answer calls to help give them a break, so the guys can work on their houses. If we get the opportunity, we’re going to help other firemen rebuild their houses as well. Whatever they need us to do is what we’re after.”

Every Monday, for four weeks, a new round of six firefighters will head down to the island, replacing the previous team who will be coming home.

“We have a friend from Winston-Salem who has graciously donated the use of his aircraft to come down and pick up the firefighters," said Charlie Schoonmaker, organizer and long-time volunteer for the Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue. “We’ve always been active helping down there and years ago, we even got some trucks from Kure Beach donated to us that we sent down for the fire department to use there, which were destroyed by Dorian."

Schoonmaker said volunteers are currently accepting goods, organizing them so that the firemen can take what they need to help rebuild the Bahamas.

A fundraiser event to benefit the Hope Town organization will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, 12-8 p.m. in the fisherman lot on Canal Drive in Carolina Beach, next to the SeaWitch.

The goal is to send local volunteers, donated rescue equipment, and a fire vehicle to Hope Town. The event will have several food tents from local restaurants on the island. All proceeds will go toward raising money for the Hope Town Volunteer Fire and Rescue.

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