Community continues to help firefighter in critical condition - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Community continues to help firefighter in critical condition

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LINDALE (KYTX) - Firefighter Joe Yeakley is still in critical condition in Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

Since he was injured at a fire last month, the community has stepped in to help.

The Not Your Average Joe Community Run will be held in the Picker's Pavilion in downtown Lindale Saturday morning.

It will benefit Joe Yeakley and his family, but firefighters say it's going to take months of help from the community to make a big difference.

"Every time I turn around there's a phone call or an email about someone saying, we want to do this event for Joe. Help us get started," says Lt. Aaron Munn with the Lindale Fire Department.

Munn says the community's support to help injured firefighter Joe Yeakley has been overwhelming.

From Fill the Helmet campaigns across Smith County last weekend, to bake sales, and a fun run scheduled for Saturday, ideas keep popping up.

A house fire injured 4 firefighters when the roof collapsed last month.

Joe was burned over 50% of his body, sending him to Dallas to be treated.

"Joe's not going to be able to go back to work for a year probably, it's going to be long term that he's not able to go back to work," says Lt. Munn.

But Munn says this isn't a sprint to help pay medical bills, those are taken care of, the biggest problem Joe's family faces is everyday bills.

"His family has house payment, car payments, just your typical utility bills things that most of us get our check from work, put it in the bank and we pay those," says Lt. Munn.

Beyond that, Munn says the emotional toll this is taking on his family, and his brothers at the fire department, is heavy.

"On one hand, there's a lot of guys struggling emotionally just like his family is because we love Joe, Joe is a very likeable guy," says Lt. Munn.

The firefighters are using these opportunities to give back and be positive.

"Going to the hospital and being able to sit down with his wife and daughter was really encouraging to me," says Lt. Munn.

There have been several new benefits created to help Joe, including a car show in May.

The fire department is trying to schedule one event each month until he can return to work.



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