In January of 2014 two Toledo firefighters, Stephen Machcinski and Jamie Dickman, responded to their last alarm. Two days after this tragedy, Steve was contacted and asked to draw a sketch depicting a sculpture that would pay tribute to these two fallen heroes. Once the sketch was complete, Steve was asked how long it would take to complete this project. This request came as quite a surprise.
After taking a year to do research on first responders, the building of the monument began in late 2014. As we have built the structure, it has evolved into an all-encompassing tribute to all first responders: military, law enforcement, firefighters, and EMTs. This is how the "American First Responders Memorial Monument" was born.
We are nearing completion of the back wall of the center structure. This is the portion of the monument dedicated to firefighters and EMTs. We have begun construction of the military tribute. Our hope is to have the entire AFRMM completed in 2018 and begin our national tour.
During our research we discovered that first responders suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at the same alarmingly high rate as military personnel. Since our team member, Steve, suffers form PTSD and it affects the rest of the team, we decided to use the monument as a way to bring public awareness and education of PTSD.
Because Steve's PTSD is not military combat related, we have made it our mission to build a bridge between all PTSD sufferers - military, law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, civilians, and all the families affected. This is quite an undertaking, but we at Chainsaws for Charity feel it is the least we can do to show our gratitude to the Vietnam Veterans who helped Steve during his time of need.
Communication is key. If you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD, please contact us. We can help. The first step - asking for help - is the hardest. Take care and keep an eye on your brothers and sisters.
You can help fund the AFRMM.
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Your support is greatly appreciated.