Community Champions: First responders start non-profit organization

Updated: Feb. 17, 2021 at 5:13 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Crime scenes, fire scenes and accident scenes eventually are cleared, but the spirit of service for those who respond to them remains.

“It’s just in our nature. Just because we clock out at the end of the day doesn’t mean our desire to help goes away,” said Charlie Phipps, with Chatham Emergency Services.

And now local first responders are answering another call and serving their community in another way. Chatham Unity in the Community is a new non-profit organization put together by local firefighters, EMTs and police officers that will hold quarterly fundraising events and distribute the proceeds to other area charities.

“We try to do all we can for the community, but this is so we can get together outside. Instead of being in such a tight work environment, we can actually have fun and try to build a good relationship. Well, we always have a good relationship with the community, but this is to give back,” said Carl Sapp, with Chatham Emergency Services.

The organization’s first event is Saturday, a chili cook-off at Coastal Empire Brewing that will benefit CASA and the Front Porch.

“With the Behavioral Health Unit, I work with the Front Porch on an almost daily basis, referring children of families in need to them. And when we go in there and see everything they have and we know there’s still a need for more, so it’s a great thing,” said Julie Cavanaugh, with the Savannah Police Department – Behavioral Health Unit.

The quarterly events will help the agencies bond while building on the shared sense of responsibility these WTOC Community Champions demonstrate every day.

“We go above and beyond when we need to and it’s a good call.”

“We like doing it all the time, even in our down hours. It’s just a little more fun environment and you get everyone together. Right now, we have fire, EMT and Police and this is a whole group working together as one.”

“The two charities we are focusing on with this chili cook-off are really great charities and we really want to bring light to what they do, just kind of empower the community and bring us all together.”

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