'Brothers for Life' organization helps first responders

Brothers for Life began with firefighters at Decatur Fire and Rescue.
Brothers for Life began with firefighters at Decatur Fire and Rescue.

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - Firefighters are known for being able to position their big trucks just so, but when Kirby Hines, a firefighter-paramedic, was new to the job in 2009, he had to grapple with something new positioning itself in his body.

"They found a tumor in my brain," said Hines.

That meant a nine month stay in a Birmingham Hospital for him and major expenses for his parents.

Brotherly philanthropy surfaced at the firehouse.  Hines said brother firefighters came through for him.

"A lot of the guys who worked with me, worked when I had to work. They worked my shift so I didn't have to lose my money you know," he said.

At that time, Hines was working four jobs. Money was tight and bills were adding up for him and his parents. The group also made a monetary donation, and Brothers for Life was born.

"I like it. Because it happened to me, they do a lot of things for us," said Hines.

Hines was the first, but there are many more.

Elliot Ashby is an 11 year veteran with the fire department. He said his wife went into labor when she was 22 weeks pregnant and was sent to UAB, and placed on bed rest for about six weeks.

"I couldn't work my second job or this job so I stayed with her, so Brothers for Life made a monetary donation to us, and also guys were calling - volunteering to cover my shifts," Ashby said.

And that volunteer spirit grew even more.

"The expenses did mount up for driving back and forth. My other daughter was here, so we had to come back and forth with her so… so it was much appreciated that they donated some money to us when we needed it," added Ashby.

His second daughter is a healthy 18 months old now, and his family is well.

As more and more needs surfaced, the group became organized as a non-profit.

While Brothers for Life was actually started by firefighters for a firefighter, they actually help all first responders.

Stacy Rose spoke on behalf of Brothers for Life.

"We raise money for firefighters, first responders, police, ambulance personnel, anyone involved in emergency services in their time of need," Rose said.

He said they hold benefits and a 5k run to raise money.

"And a lot of times when people do get hurt, they don't always have someone to turn to, so we tried to fill a void," he said.

A void filled with heartfelt generosity by Brothers for Life in Bobby's Bama.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved.