LAKE HAVASU, Ariz.- The Desert Hills Fire Department and the Lake Havasu community have come together to do everything they can to help a firefighter who was one of the 527 people injured in the Las Vegas mass shooting Sunday night.
Kurt Fowler, a resident of Lake Havasu, Arizona, and firefighter for Desert Hills Fire Department was attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival when he was shot in the leg. He underwent a successful surgery and is stable, but it could be up to 10 months before he is able to return to work.
“I spoke to him briefly last night,” said Capt. Steve Bunn of Desert Hills Fire Department. “He is in good spirits for where he is at, and has a lot of family around him.”
Bunn said while the news was shocking, the fire station is trying not to think about what happened and move forward.
“I came in for my shift the morning after the shooting, and the guys were somber” said Bunn. “We had a group jump into vehicles and go up to Vegas to visit Kurt.”
The firefighters jumped into action immediately. As a response to the news, Desert Hills Fire Department came together and created a GoFundMe to help raise money to alleviate the financial burden on Fowler and his family. The fundraiser has surpassed their goal of $10,000, and currently has raised almost $20,000 for the family. Bunn said the outpouring of support doesn’t at all surprise him in his community.
“This community has always been oriented to helping out. Whenever we have an issue everyone steps up. I’ve lived her 13 years and cant recall when someone didn’t step up and help. It makes me proud but not surprised” said Bunn.
But the firefighters aren’t stopping there. According to Bunn, they are planning more events to help support the family, including a pancake breakfast on the first Saturday of the month to help raise more money and awareness for the Fowler family and other victims.
The GoFundMe is “Fowler Strong” by Ryan Erikson. Bunn said even though the goal has been surpassed, help is still appreciated.
“This place is amazing,” said Bunn. “We expected a little bit, maybe $10,000 but we were shooting for the stars… there was even some Facebook message from a firefighter in Kansas that donated. It’s going further than just Havasu.”