HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF ) - The Horry County Firefighter Relief Fund helps to bridge the gap of need for firefighters and families when they are put out of their job because of illness or injury. In a little over a month, they will host their first ever Fireman's Ball to raise money for that fund. Their goal is $1 million. It's a lot to ask for, but it goes to the men and women who literally give their lives every day to protect yours.
Charlie Nash has been in the fire industry for 25 years. He responded to the terror attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Then shortly after, he made Horry County Fire Department his home. He's actually a board member for the relief fund, but he soon found himself in need of the assistance it provides.
"When I was a kid it was fire houses and fire engines and stuff like that and of course when you get older you understand you really make a difference in peoples lives and in your community...I always saw and and wanted to be a part of that," Nash said. "We're blue collar people. We work side by side with them, but there's a time one of us could be seriously injured, sick, or even worse."
Nash always wanted to be there for any of his brothers and sisters in need. That's why he became a board member with the relief fun three years ago.
"We want to give people the world, Nash said. "We understand the sacrifices that they give, so we don't want them to worry about getting hurt, getting injured."
Or getting sick like Nash did.
Just a year ago, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer at its highest stage.
"You know everyone is tough until the doctor tells you those three little words...you have cancer," Nash said.
It certainly wasn't the news what Nash had expected to hear after 25 years on the job. However, his family in the fire service was right there to step up and help.
"The president of the relief fund was right on top of things," Nash said. "There wasn't a day or week that went by he didn't check in to see what we needed."
The fund is limited in what it can do, but in a time of need every little bit helps. Nash found that out first hand.
"We're trying to be prepared...for these kinds of instances," Nash said. "We rescue each other...and not a lot of other people can do what we do, but the community helps a lot."
Firefighters sacrifice their lives to protect ours. Now it's your chance to give back to them. The Horry County Firefighter Relief Fund is hosting its inaugural Fireman's Ball on October 15th.