First Responders Spotlight: RFD veterans go beyond the call of duty to help local charities

First Responders Spotlight

News 8 WROC is partnering with Dunkin’ to spotlight some of the heroes in our community. Every other Monday we will feature a story that highlights the work of first responders in our region.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Collectively, firefighters Daniel Fox, Archie Jenkins, Jackeline Vazquez, and Michael Sudz have decades of experience with the Rochester Fire Department.

Last week, they thought they were in the Public Safety Building for obligatory drill work and instruction.

Instead, we surprised them with our inaugural First Responders Spotlight award!

Last year, these fire fighters made a calendar to raise money for charities. Their efforts helped raise $14,552, which was split between the Bivona Child Advocacy Center and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester.

“It feels great,” Jenkins said. “Being able to help the kids, being able to help people in need — it’s a great feeling.”

“It was heartwarming,” Fox said. “We feel like we helped a lot of kids.”

“It was an honor to give back to the kids that definitely need it,” Sudz said “We know all that money goes to the kids.”

These firefighters were presented with certificates and four dozen donuts from Dunkin’. RFD Chief Willie Jackson says the work these first responders to every day, on top of their charity work, is inspiring.

“I was actually honored that they would go so far above the call of duty to help these organizations that help people in our community,” Jackson said.

RFD officials say the First Responders Spotlight award is something they hope will help highlight the efforts of fire, police, and emergency crews across the region.

“We go out there every day, trying to make a difference, and sometimes we don’t know if we do,” said RFD Lt. Ryan Fleming. “Getting recognized like this makes it all worth it.”

“I want to thank Channel 8 for honoring us with this,” Jackson said. “I think it’s great you’re going to honor first responders because it’s a thankless job they do day in and day out.”

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