Fundraiser set up for Conn. FF injured on way to mutual aid call

Hebron Volunteer Fire Department Lt. Eric Saunders was seriously injured when his vehicle struck a tree en route to the fire station

Traci Hastings
The Chronicle, Willimantic, Conn.

HEBRON, Conn. — A firefighter dedicated to helping those in need is now in need of a little help himself.

Eric Saunders is a lieutenant and emergency medical responder with the Hebron Volunteer Fire Department, and serves in the Connecticut Army National Guard. He is also a member of the American Legion Post No. 95 and the Hebron Lions Club.

Late in the evening Monday, Saunders was responding to a mutual-aid call on a structure fire in Lebanon when his vehicle left the road and struck a tree.

“Another fire department came upon the scene and immediately radioed for help,” said the department in a statement Monday. “Upon arrival, Lt. Sanders was unconscious requiring extrication and advanced life support. He was then transported to Hartford Hospital, where he underwent surgery.”

As of Friday evening, he remained in critical condition, according to a spokesperson for Hartford Hospital.

On Thursday, a fundraiser was launched online to help in Saunders’ recovery, and it was announced his condition remains serious.

“Eric is an incredibly giving and caring man who loves his family very much,” said Bill Schappert, who organized the fundraiser on GoFundMe. “Eric regularly goes out of his way to help those in need, while responding to emergencies as a firefighter/EMR. Now the time has come for us as a community to help Eric in his time of need."

Donations can be made to Saunders’ fund on by searching for “Supporting Eric Saunders.” The initial amount Schappert hoped to raise is $10,000. Within three hours on Thursday, more than $4,000 had been donated.

“The road to recovery is expected to be a long one,” said Schappert. “Eric is a fighter and we are optimistic he will pull through.”


©2019 The Chronicle (Willimantic, Conn.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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