Outpouring of love and support for injured Farnam firefighter

Community donates over $20,000 for medical expenses
News 2 Midday
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 10:50 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Volunteer firefighters and other responders go to bed every night with their pagers nearby. They go to basketball games, and church, or they sit down to eat a meal with their families, and the pagers go off. In April 2022, the pagers went off seemingly non-stop.

Travis Metzler of Farnam is one of the volunteers who answered a page to the Road 739 Wildfire. He left his family without question and went to assist his fellow volunteers. The terrain in the fields and canyons of Nebraska, hills, and valleys, do not always agree with vehicles, let alone large equipment-toting fire trucks. It was during the events early on, south of Elwood, that Metzler was operating equipment in the back of such a rig, in such an environment. With smoke all around him, and fire closing in, Metzler and his team, unfortunately, experienced a roll-over. Metzler felt the shift of the truck beneath him, and he bailed off the back, severely breaking bones in several places in his body.

Enormous turnout for benefit in Farnam at Farnam Fire Hall.
Enormous turnout for benefit in Farnam at Farnam Fire Hall.(Melanie Standiford)
Travis Metzler, injured in Road 739 Wildfire
Travis Metzler, injured in Road 739 Wildfire(Melanie Standiford)

On Sunday, the community answered the call to help him.

A benefit brunch at the Farnam Fire Hall was a success. Chief Klein said he knew turnout would be good.

“I knew it would be big, but I never knew it would be this big.”

Fire Chief Rod Klein, Farnam Fire Department

They came in droves, and the firefighters and other volunteers made hundreds of pancakes, eggs, hashed browns, and sausages. People laughed together and ate. They greeted Metzler, and offered him thanks, and “get well” wishes. And they donated to the benefit. Well over $20,000 was raised to help Metzler with costs not covered by insurance, and things like travel to appointments, as he has a long path to recovery.

More donations are pouring in from a community and beyond who truly appreciate Metzler and other volunteer firefighters and responders. If you want to help, you may. You may send a check made out to “Farnam Fire Benefit” and addressed to: Farnam Village Clerk, P.O. Box 7, Farnam, NE 69029.

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