Mossy Pond Volunteer Fire Department receives a helping hand

By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 14, 2020

MOSSY POND, Fla. (WCTV) – Back in October, WCTV brought you the story of the Volunteer Fire Department at Mossy Pond.

After Hurricane Michael, they were left without a fire station, operating out of their public library. They answer calls with little to no equipment, and with their trucks parked in the front of their houses.

The devastation of Hurricane Michael inspired relief efforts that span the country. But on Tuesday, it hit closer to home. WCTV's story caught the attention of one Tallahassee family who has a son on a college lacrosse team from upstate New York. The Colgate University Men's Lacrosse team help a small North Florida fire department rebuild a temporary fire house.

"People are still trying to help as much as they can and it is just fantastic," shares Duncan Harvey. The Chief Financial Officer for the 7 person volunteer team, can not take his eyes off the scene in front of him. More than fifty young men, were grabbing hammers and drills, assisting the Mossy Pond community.

Harvey finds it hard to not get emotional. He adds that after so long, he thought they had been forgotten, still struggling to get FEMA assistance, and working with the little that they have. He says it is touching to have others step in, "It is so great to see them willing to work and help, it just makes you feel good inside."

The men can be seen lifting sheets of panels, placing them on the bare beams, and working to create a new home for the department's fire trucks. But for players like Nicholas Piselli, a senior on the team, it is a chance to give back, "Just every little bit counts and I know that they would do the same for us if they needed our help."

"There is a lot more we could do and I wish we could do more. But just to help in any capacity we are really excited," states senior Matt Lupinacci.

Head Coach Matt Karweck, says it is not only a chance to have pre-season bonding, but a chance to make a difference, "Every team in the country is going to practice, every team is going to lift weights, every team is going to play games and travel, and those kind of things. And the way that we think about it is what else can we do."

And although it is a temporary firehouse, it is still essential for what the Mossy Pond Volunteer Fire Department does each and everyday. June Harvey says they have lost thousands of dollars in trying to repair equipment because they do not have proper storage or facilities. But June shares they do what needs to be done for others, "We do a lot, we care for our community, we go on medical calls, we transport, we do whatever we need to do."

In an occupation when seconds count, the volunteers now have a central base to meet, then conquer and divide to save others. It means the world not only for those who give their all, but Coach Karweck observes, it also is impactful -for his players, who gave their time, "There is a realness to this that I wanted our guys to get their hands upon...We wanted to see it first hand, and we are so glad that we did because we get a chance to help the people that need help."

"I just think it is fantastic," Harvey has tears in his eyes, "just makes me feel good and warm."

The temporary firehouse now stands proudly beside the Mossy Pond public library, until the Volunteer Fire Department of Mossy Pond, regains their original fire station.

Tuesday night, Colgate University will take on Jacksonville University, and all of the proceeds will go the department. To purchase tickets you can visit:
eventbrite.com

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