Benefit today for River Falls firefighter

Published 12:42 am Saturday, September 13, 2014

Volunteer firefighters often give up their time from their families to ensure that others are taken care of. It is that reason that the River Falls Volunteer Fire Department has joined together to take care of one of its own, who is battling an illness.

Ashley Holland, public relations officer for the RFVFD, said this week that every once in a while the department is afforded the opportunity to show its appreciation for the outstanding members it has, and today the fire department will sponsor a benefit yard sale and bake sale.

“As unfortunate as it is, a member of our department is currently facing unforeseen hard times, compliments of multiple sicknesses and hospitalizations,” she said. “In light of this, River Falls Volunteer Fire Department has found the window of opportunity to show our appreciation for such as profound member,” she said.

Holland said that Jesse Jones and his wife, Renea, became members of the department in 2012.

“Before Jesse and Renea were voted in, our entire department knew we couldn’t let them slip through our hands,” she said. “As a couple, these two are angels of public service. Each of them thrives upon selflessly helping their communities.”

Holland said immediately following Jones’ first hospitalization, our department called a mandatory meeting to discuss what could be done to help this courageous family. It was unanimously agreed that something must be done.

“After all, Jesse would be the first one pushing to help any of our members, for any reason at all,” she said. “The only argument was that we needed to give more. Many ideas were thrown around before deciding on a benefit yard and bake sale.”

Jones has been in the hospital three different times in the past few months, first for pneumonia and twice for pancreatitis.

Doctors told Jones that the pneumonia may have been caused by a weakened immune system caused by the loss of a spleen from a automobile accident.

Jones also lost his gallbladder to infection and had an infection in the bone of his leg.

Doctors said the pancreatitis may have been caused by the antibiotics used to treat the pneumonia or caused by a hernia.

Since doctors are unsure, a special testing is needed, but Jones is unable to get the testing until his insurance kicks in in October.

So, far he has incurred $40,000-plus in medical bills.

“I have come a long way from where I once was,” Jones said. “From a young boy with multiple broken bones, brain damage and stroke, bound to a wheelchair, to a miraculous recovery to the person I am today, it is nothing of my own doing, but the grace of God that has brought me through.”

The benefit will begin at 8 a.m., this morning, at the River Falls Fire Department.

“Bring the kids out for a tour of the smoke house, compliments of Andalusia Fire Department,” Holland said. “On behalf of the River Falls Volunteer Fire Department, Jesse Jones and his entire family, we would like to thank you, in advance, for all your support.”

Monetary donations will be accepted.