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TLO7479

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Review for Jessica Locke Firefighters Fund Inc, Watertown, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Tom Lopez and I am the President of the Newton Firefighters Association. It is with great pleasure that I have this opportunity to share with everyone what a wonderful experience we have had with Jessica Locke and the Firefighters Fund. I first met Jessica in October 2006 when the Newton Firefighters had been engaged in a difficult battle with the sitting mayor. We had been without a contract for three years and the six fire stations were crumbling all around us. Jessica had heard we had no screens on our windows from some firefighters in her own community in Watertown and she wanted to help. After giving Jessica a full review of what we had faced and seeing the utter frustration in her face, she turned a simple mission of getting screens for our windows into a whole lot more. Over the last four years, with dedication and a relentless perseverance, Jessica and the Firefighters Fund raised the awareness of the unsafe and deplorable working conditions in our fire stations to a level never seen before in this community. Her commitment to her mission never wavered, and, with the assistance of some of the local politicians, they forced the mayor into a ten year renovation plan for the six fire stations. Jessica did not stop there. During her fire station endeavors, it became abundantly clear the there was a strong need to address the dilapidated safety equipment that was being used on a daily basis. The lack of investment in firefighter safety was abundantly clear and never more so than in the late night hours on May 25, 2007 when Lt Rich Geary was run over by a malfunctioning 24 year old fire truck. Jessica spent the next year taking whatever steps necessary to bring this injustice to the forefront. From testifying in front of the Board of Alderman, meeting with the media, or standing on a busy street corner holding a picket sign – there was no stopping her. It has not been all confrontational. It is true that Jessica has put much attention on the many needs that we face here in Newton but she has also worked diligently to raise awareness of what all firefighters do for their communities, the sacrifice and dangers that we face on a daily basis in order to protect the citizens of our communities. Since we have been blessed with the presence of Jessica Locke and the Firefighters Fund, we have seen one fire station renovated with the second to begin any day now, four new fire trucks, and numerous safety equipment upgrades that undoubtedly would have taken many years to get done. Over the last three years she has arranged for a firefighter appreciation day on September 11 in the Greater Boston area, where local residents and restaurants provide meals for all the firefighters on duty that day, just as a way of saying thank you. The Firefighters Fund was created by a compassionate, dedicated, selfless, woman looking to do some good for a group of people who have given and suffered much. Many times, I have been asked what it is like to have met and worked alongside Jessica, and the only way I can describe it is: Jessica is the ray of sunshine that beams through the dark clouds as the storm passes by. You just know with Jessica there are better days coming. With the deepest appreciation, Tom Lopez President Newton Firefighters Association Local 863

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