Volunteer Firefighters Memorial Fund
The recent passing of a Lizana volunteer firefighter has brought to light a larger issue faced by many of our men and women who freely give up their time and risk their lives for the good of our community. Many don’t have life insurance.
Tonight, how a brotherhood of community servants came to the aid of the family of a 28 year firefighting veteran.
Longtime volunteer firefighter Joey Schultz spent 28 years serving the Gulf Coast Community. The dedicated veteran didn’t die in the line of duty, but his death brings to light a separate element of sadness. Lieutenant Ryan McDaniel with Lizana Volunteer Fire Department said, “We’re volunteers. There’s some of us that don’t have insurance.”
Inside a packed room, those who knew Joey Schultz shared stories of the man they described as dedicated, ready to serve even when he was sick. “He was a go-getter, he would help anybody. He didn’t care who you were,” said McDaniel.
Firefighters like Joey Schultz knew from the moment they open the door, they are risking it all. Most Mississippi firefighters are volunteers, regular men and women, some low income, lacking the means to afford life insurance for themselves, but rich in desire to help others. “We’re not getting paid. We’re getting up at 3 a.m. to go to someone’s house, maybe a child is in it or an elderly person, no one else is going to do it,” said McDonald.
It’s perhaps this passion that bonds firefighters as family. Without hesitation, Joey Schultz’s fellow brothers and other community members chipped in to send him home honorably, easing the burden of a family already grieving a difficult loss.