It’s been a difficult time for the Owego community after the loss of firefighter Captain Matthew Porcari nearly two weeks ago. But as our Elyse Mickalonis explains, those who worked with him, around the Southern Tier, are honoring him by trying to help other firefighters cope with traumatic losses.
NEWARK VALLEY, N.Y. -- Owego Firefighter Captain Matthew Porcari touched many lives. Since his passing, people have been coming to his family's aid.
Owego Firefighter Andrew Vought says, “It’s really impressive to see the amount of support. There’s no words that can describe it for me."
Solidarity that’s now coming in from other countries, after Newark Valley Firefighter Joe Sodon created a Facebook page, called Boots of Courage, in honor of Porcari. He died when the floor collapsed, while he was fighting a fire in Newark Valley. Sodon was in the basement when it happened. He searched for Porcari, without a hose, until he found him.
Sodon hopes the page gives firefighters the chance to support each other.
Boots of Courage Creator, Joe Sodon says, “I just want to show that hopefully anyone who is having a trying time with a call, unfortunate loss of a brother or injured brother that there are more people behind you."
Sodon says the response has been amazing. He says, "Within less than 48 hours we had 80 hits from people from Japan, Germany, across the country, asking what they could do to help, donating money, the brotherhood is always there when you need a shoulder to lean on."
Newark Valley Fire Department Lieutenant John Schaffer says, “It’s grown to law enforcement, EMS, military. It’s just truly amazing.”
Andrew Vought, Owego Firefighter, says, “It’s definitely amazing to see how many people care about a small little community.”
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