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FDNY raises $30K for Yarnell hotshots' families

PHOENIX -- New York City firefighters have raised over $30,000 for the families of the 19 hotshots who were killed battling the Yarnell Hill wildfire last month.

According to the New York Daily News, dozens of fire companies chipped in to raise the money by having each firefighter donate $1 every time they had a meal during a shift.

Phil Pillet, a 24-year veteran FDNY firefighter with Ladder Co. 56 in the Bronx, helped organize the fund-raiser to show support for wildland firefighters who arrived in the city after Sept. 11.

"It goes all the way back to them coming here on 9/11 without being called, and just showing up," said Pillet, 51, adding that the woodland smoke-eaters introduced a more sophisticated level of organization to handle mass casualty incidents.

Pillet also credited the hotshots for the formation of FDNY's incident management team.

But FDNY isn't stopping there. The agency is encouraging other fire companies across the nation to match their donation.

A source confirmed that members of the Chicago Fire Department have accepted the proposition, but are currently discussing ways to raise the cash.

The money raised by FDNY will go to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, which distributes funds to the families of all firefighters who die fighting wildfires.

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