Local fire departments fill boots with donations

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - It's that time of year when you hear the Salvation Army bells wherever you go, but on Saturday they were being rang by firefighters. Three local departments have decided to help out the organization and have a friendly competition while doing so. For just one day, people got to stuff their gifts into a firemen's boot.

"Usually when the fire department is called on it's when somebody is at their worst moment, and that's when we're needed," said Lieutenant Phillip Albert with the D'Iberville Fire Department.

"To be able to do something like this, do something for somebody and it not be a horrible situation, it's nice."

The friendly competition began when the Salvation Army needed more volunteers. In true firemen spirit, all the departments wanted to lend a helping hand to an organization that means so much to South Mississippi.

"A lot of these people as well as us, got to witness what these people did and I'm sure they're feeling the same way now that we're well into recovery," said Chuck Parker with Biloxi Fire Department.

"This is an excellent time to be able to give something back."

There was no shortage of donations. According to the Salvation Army's Public Relations Director, they raise enough money during the holidays to sustain the organization year round.

"It's really amazing. It makes you feel good to know that the community cares and they're willing to give and they're giving a lot. It's surprising how much we've gotten this morning," said Lieutenant Michael Payne with Gulfport Fire Department.

No matter which department fills the most boots, they all agree that spending one of their Saturdays ringing that little bell is more important than receiving a trophy.

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