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Roswell firefighters going to Houston

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Melinda Olivas, of Tobosa, started her day with a surprise task.

“We have a staff member, Eric Morales, who is a firefighter at Station 1,” Olivas said. “On his days off he works at Little Steps Learning Center. He told Rosie Rubio, his aunt, that he and a group of firefighters were going to be heading to Houston tomorrow morning.
“Rosie called me this morning and told me to put it out on Facebook. I sent out emails. We’ve collected donations of money, diapers, clothes and water. We were able to raise over $1,000. I’m very proud of everybody here.”
It all started because of a photograph that went viral.
“We got hooked when we saw the picture of those people in the nursing home with water up to their waist,” Morales said. “We all decided as a shift that we were going to go to Houston to try to help.

“We started calling people to see how much help we could get, the response has been amazing. We’ll be there to help with rescue needs, water rescue and EMT related needs. We expect to get back next Friday.”
Lieutenant Steve Chavez said they chose to focus on water donations because of something they saw in the news.
“The pictures of people selling cases of water for $42 — that made us think to bring water,” Chavez said. “These donations are just from people we knew. We just called friends and associates, told them what we’re doing and the donations started flowing in.
“We appreciate all the donations that came in and everybody who helped out. Without that, we would just be going as ourselves. This makes it far more special.”
Roswell will be represented by more than $1,300, 50 pallets of drinking water, and 10 of our most dedicated first responders.
Features reporter Curtis M. Michaels can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.