Benefit held for firefighters hurt in the line of duty

Injured firefighters Ashleigh Wilson & Jeremy Meares
Injured firefighters Ashleigh Wilson & Jeremy Meares

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) The Fair Bluff Fire Rescue, Horry County Fire Rescue and other neighboring departments held a benefit ride Sunday to raise money for two volunteer firefighters that were injured while en route to a fire back in May.

Captain Jeremy Meares and Firefighter Ashleigh Wilson were in Horry County on May 12th to assist with the Legends wildfire when their truck's tire blew, and the truck flipped. Jeremy was pinned under the truck for nearly 30 minutes and Ashleigh was thrown from the vehicle, even though she was wearing her seat belt.

The event started in Fair Bluff, NC and ended near the Myrtle Beach mall. More than 50 motorcycles and cars took part in the ride. Each person paid to drive in the motorcade. All proceeds will go to help Ashleigh and Jeremy with medical bills. Lieutenant Kenneth Elliott with the Fair Bluff Fire Rescue said doctors have told both Ashleigh and Jeremy that they will not be able to go back to work for at least two years. Aside from the firefighting, both have regular full-time jobs.

Jeremy Meares said the accident did not change the way he feels about firefighting.

"I'm going back,when I get over this, I'm going back," Meares said.

Ashleigh Wilson agreed.

"It just makes me want to get into it that much more. I'm a volunteer and it just makes me want to go ahead and get my certifications and get paid to do it for full-time," Wilson said.

Wilson said she was surprised at all the support.

"It surprised me how many people actually came together for me and Jerry. The people that came to the hospital to visit me and Jerry, it's like a big family and that's what firefighting's all about- when one gets hurt, everybody comes together," Wilson said.

Conway's Fire Rescue Sergeant Tony Martin said firefighting is a brotherhood.

"We are here for everybody when everybody else is having their worst days and we're trying to do the same for one of our brother's and sister's that's had a bad day," Martin said.

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