Local fire department steps up to help Jersey fireman

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by Emily Rau

WVEC.com

Posted on July 17, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 17 at 6:44 PM

NORFOLK -- Local firefighters opened the fire house doors for a family in need.

Kieth Quinlan was enjoying a vacation in the Outer Banks when he suddenly fell very ill. His condition worsened until doctors flew the New Jersey firefighter to Norfolk General.

Quinlan's fellow firefighters and friends from Trenton, New Jersey made the long drive to be by his side as he struggled against the bizarre illness that left him on a ventilator and relying on a feeding tube to survive. "I would do anything for him, so traveling five or six hours from New Jersey, that's not a problem," said Dave Barlow, Quinlan's friend of more than twenty years.

The Norfolk Fire Department welcome Quinlan's family and friends to enjoy brunch on Sunday morning and take a break from the hospital. David Pendergrass with Norfolk Fire Rescue it's part of a special bond among firefighters.

"Brotherhood, sisterhood in the fire service is a big deal," he said. "There's kind of a bond that's built whether it's in Norfolk or Trenton, New Jersey, or all the way across the country. That bond is a strong bond."

Quinlan's wife Cori says the support has made all the difference. "It's overwhelming but it proves that no matter where you're at, there's going to be a firehouse or someone in the community to be there to help."

For the latest updates on Kieth Quinlan's condition, check the Trenton Fire Department's web page: www.trentonfirefighters.com

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