FORT WORTH, Texas - Fire department recruits in Fort Worth had their strength and stamina tested Monday to support families who fled Afghanistan.
At the Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex, about 25 firefighting recruits got up early and climbed a couple hundred flights of stair multiple times.
The training tower is seven stories and there’s no central heating. The recruits had not yet been issued firefighting gear, so they were feeling the cold Monday morning.
As they were making the climb, they were raising money for non-profit groups that are helping Afghan refugee families settle into housing and enroll in Fort Worth schools.
All of the families include at least one adult who assisted the United States military in Afghanistan, fighting the global war on terror, putting themselves and sometimes their families at great personal risk.
They are repatriating in Fort Worth through the assistance of multiple government agencies and non-profits.
After their very challenging workout Monday morning, a couple of the recruits talked about the fundraising effort.
"It really felt good to do that. We want people to know that the Fort Worth Fire Department stands with the refugees," James Simmons said.
"We stand, we have all the compassion to give, and we're here, we stand with everyone," Natalie Garcia added.
Part of the re-settlement process is getting the re-located kids ready for school.
A photo taken just this past Friday shows Fort Worth firefighter Jairo Romero and 5-year-old Nafisa, who was at the clinic to receive her vaccinations in order to attend a Fort Worth ISD school.
Her family is one of several dozen being repatriated in Fort Worth.
The same non-profits who benefited from Monday’s fundraiser are also preparing to help settle refugees from Ukraine at some point in the future.