Austin firefighters contribute to memorial

Published 8:52 am Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Minnesota firefighters have raised enough money to build a memorial honoring fallen firefighters, and the Austin Fire Department helped contribute.

Fire Chief Mickey Healey said Austin firefighters donated $30 each to the fund. Firefighters across the state were encouraged to donate to the $600,000 project.

“Each individual firefighter donated out of their own pocket; it didn’t come from taxpayers,” Healey said.

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Healey said there was an outpouring of donations from Minnesota businesses, in addition to fire departments.

The memorial will be built on the state capitol grounds as a dedication to the 194 firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1881. The memorial itself costs $500,000, but the extra $100,000 was raised to fund future maintenance.