Marine Nick Battles; Tampa Firefighters; Camden Employees, A Very Good Story

My husband, Mr. Perfect is a retired Captain with the Tampa Fire Rescue. Over the years, he has also been an unofficial Camden employee of sorts. He is forever supporting me in some way; most of my coworkers know him as a pretty good guy. Mr. Perfect understands our culture and gets to live it, right by my side. So during the holidays when our Tampa team was planning our holiday celebration and thinking about where we could donate the money we raise this year – my husband shared a story with me.
Let me start by saying that firefighters are really special people and differently than you might automatically think. They are a family, in a very real way. When Mr. Perfect and I got married, I gained hundreds of friends/family from Tampa Fire Rescue. These men and women are there for each other. If someone in their family became ill or injured, they go cut their grass; babysit for them; do repairs on their home; raise money to help pay bills; work for them or donate their own sick time if a brother or sister ran out of sick time.
Nick Battles in UniformSo in 2009 when the son of Paramedic Justin Battles, Marine Corps Pfc. Nick Battles, was paralyzed from the neck down in a training exercise during his last day of boot camp in South Carolina, they rushed to support him.
Drill instructors asked Nicholas Battles why he wanted to be a Marine, he said he wanted to be more like his dad – honorable, courageous and committed to people he loves. Nick awoke in his South Carolina hospital room to find the dad he emulated at his bedside.
Paramedic Justin Battles’ brothers and sisters at Tampa Fire Rescue did whatever they could do to support him so he would be able to be there for his son. Firefighters from stations throughout the city worked to cover Justin Battles’ shifts as a firefighter and paramedic. They did this work without pay, so Paramedic Battles could continue to receive his. One of these firefighters was Capt. Karl Wolf. Along with Lt. John Dougherty, they organized the work force.
When Nick Battles was transferred to Tampa, firefighters gathered at the airport to show support. Over a hundred City workers lined Florida Avenue to welcome him home and then the fund raising continued. Not fancy fund raising, it has been grass roots style. Nick Battles
One fundraiser was Capt. Wolfs’ retirement party. Capt. Karl Wolf retired after 32 years with Tampa Fire Rescue; he had a magnificent retirement party at the Tampa Firefighters Museum, surrounded by friends and family. There was also a video documenting his career. Yet even then, he was thinking of the Battles family. Capt. Wolf organized a raffle for 50” TV –which was donated by Hillsborough Firefighters Benevolent Relief Fund. The drawing would be held at his retirement party. Proceeds would be going to purchase an enclosed trailer for transporting Nick Battles very cool all terrain wheelchair. This trailer will give him the ability to go many more places.
This is the story, my husband shared with me. I quickly told our Regional Vice President who agreed it would be an honor to contribute the $2,500 Camden Tampa employees raised to Nick Battles trailer fund. We are so proud to support the family at Tampa Fire Rescue and to do something to show Nick Battles our gratitude for his service and sacrifice for our country.
The trailer has now been delivered. Capt. Wolf says it’s a beauty! The additional money raised was used to purchase a “Smith Machine” – a piece of exercise equipment that will greatly benefit Nick’s at home rehab workouts. He is also able to pick up some additional equipment for the trailer and gym equipment.Nick & Trailer
You know, I always talk about how good my life is. Like many of you I have a wonderful family, great friends, and a job I love for a company I am so proud of. Add to that being able to know people like the firefighters and paramedics at Tampa Fire Rescue and Hillsborough County Fire Department. And last to have an opportunity to give back to a man who has given so much for our great country. How could my life be anything but awesome?
Peace, Cindy
My resources were Capt. Karl Wolf, my husband, Tampa Bay Times (writer Sarah Whitman) and Hillsborough Firefighters Benevolent Relief Fund. If you wish to make donations to any of the organizations mentioned in the story, just click on their name. Tampa Firefighters Charities for Nick Battles at tampafirefighters.com; Hillsborough Firefighters Benevolent Relief Fund; Tampa Firefighters Museum.

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