Several local communities are pulling together resources to help the family of a firefighter breathing through a hospital ventilator.
Paul Bales doesn't fit the bill of a typical public safety servant. At 41, he is a part-time Azle firefighter, full-time Everman EMS coordinator, Deputy Fire Marshall, Deputy Arson Investigator and serves as a reserve police officer.
"Paul is not a textbook paramedic," said North Richland Hills Battalion Chief Eddy Wood. "He has always gone above and beyond."
But on Sunday, Bales was forced to slow down.
The city of Everman's Director of Public Safety Randy Sanders said Bales began experiencing leg pain and difficulty breathing while working. That was when his wife, Denisha Bales, took him to the hospital.
Several co-workers have said a prognosis hasn't been given, but instead of waiting around for one, they immediately sprang into action to launch several fundraising campaigns.
On Saturday, community members are encouraged to attend a pancake breakfast at the Everman Fire and EMS station. Organizers are charging $5 for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast.
The Azle Professional Firefighters Association is also lending a hand. Wood says the Azle branch of the International Association of Fire Fighters is in the early stages of hosting an auction to help the Bales family with medical bills. Local artists have already started submitting pieces for the auction.
"Paul is a family man, a brother firefighter and a Master Mason. He has been committed to serving others his entire life," said Wood. "The Firefighting/EMS community and his Masonic Brothers are all committed to taking care of a fellow brother and their family during a time of need."