Fundraiser held to support injured Florence County EMS workers

Fundraiser held to support injured Florence County EMS workers

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - On Saturday, family, friends and strangers gathered for a corn-hole tournament to raise money for two emergency responders hurt in a head-on crash last month.

Tessie Smith and Josh Craig both have been honored all over the U.S. since the accident.

Now to show their respect, the Florence County EMS put together a different kind of fundraiser to support two of their own.

If you remember back in March, Smith and Craig were hit head-on by a pickup truck driver in Florence County who was later charged with DUI and driving with a suspended license.

"We're all a big family and this really hits homes to us. When one suffers, we all suffer, so we wanted to reach out and show our support," Darlington County Fire Chief Kenny Stratton said.

Ever since Smith was seriously injured in the crash last month, her coworkers have been thinking of ways to come up with money to help.

"Some of us came together because we wanted to show our support for Josh and Tessie on a personal level," Stratton said.

Organizers decided to put a new spin and invite everyone in the community to play in a corn-hole tournament to raise money to pay for medical bills and other expenses.

Since the accident, Smith has been awarded firefighter of the month by the Howe Springs Fire Department. Smith has been with the department for six years and works full-time as a paramedic, and although she has suffered life-changing injuries, Billy Hatchell with the Florence County EMS says her condition is improving every day.

"The accident is over now, they're in the healing phase so now they really need our thoughts and prayers to make sure they're not forgotten," Stratton said.

A co-ed softball tournament will be the next fundraiser for Smith and Craig on April 29 at the Friendfield Community Ball Field in Pamplico.

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