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Rusk Fire Department starts fundraiser to help fire chief battling COVID-19

Rusk Fire Chief Donald Lankford has been battling COVID-19 since August 8. He's currently on a ventilator fighting for his life.

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas — One East Texas community is coming together to help a local firefighter who’s been battling with COVID-19.

Rusk Fire Department (RFD) Chief Donald Lankford has been battling COVID-19 since August 8th. He's currently on a ventilator fighting for his life.

"He's a big asset to this fire department and with him gone, it's kind of hard on us,” said fireman James Sanchez.

Former colleagues of Landford say he goes the extra mile for people in the community. 

"He cares about the people and he is as far as I know he is the only fireman that has made every call this department had in one year,” said Wayne Morgan, a retired Rusk Fire Chief. 

The RFD decided to launch a fundraiser so the community could help chief Lankford with his medical expenses.

"We figured we'd get as the community get out and, you know, help raise money goes, the medical bills are going to get expensive,” said Sanchez.  

By hope and prayer, the RFD believes their fire chief will soon be home. 

"Before you go to bed tonight for the man who's been in the hospital almost forty days now. Pray for his recovery and his safe return,” said Morgan.