Rallying behind retired Grand Island firefighter injured in crash

Russ Bolling suffered severe injuries following a crash in South Dakota on Sunday. He is a...
Russ Bolling suffered severe injuries following a crash in South Dakota on Sunday. He is a retired firefighter from Grand Island.(GoFundMe)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 7:45 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2022 at 8:04 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A retired Grand Island firefighter is facing a long road ahead of him after being severely injured in a motorcycle crash.

Even though Russ Bolling remains in a South Dakota hospital, his firefighter family in Nebraska is rallying behind him every day since the crash.

As of Thursday afternoon, nearly $14,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe set up to help Russ and his family with the medical expenses that he’ll have following the Aug. 7 crash near Sturgis, South Dakota.


Grand Island Fire Fighter IAFF Local 647 Communications Director Jared Stockwell said Russ is in good spirits but has a long road to wellness.

Stockwell said Bolling was with other former and current firefighters for the trip. They actually helped with initial care at the scene and since the crash, they have helped out wherever they can.

“Just trying to solve problems when they come up with something tragic like this,” Stockwell said. “I think people don’t always know what to do and there’s questions. It’s just nice to have some support.”

Many people have shown that support and it’s something Stockwell is not surprised by.

When Bolling was with the department, he was always a mentor to people. He connected with people not just in Grand Island but had connections with other areas.

“Russ is a guy that a lot of us went to process things in our life, maybe some personal issues, things at home or on the department, Russ was the sense of wisdom and a voice of reason for a lot of us,” he said.

Stockwell added that there’s a brotherhood and sisterhood within the fire service and within the firefighter union.

“Russ embodied that and if one of us was in that same position, he would do anything to support and help us and we’re trying to do the same.”

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