Firefighters in Highland Village are rallying around a fellow firefighter who's waging his own battle against cancer.
Vince Jones, 62, was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer just months before he was about to call it a career. Members of his department planned a benefit and another fundraiser to help their colleague and his family cover expenses.
Family also defines how many firefighters feel about their jobs.
"The reason most guys get into the fire service is because of the brotherhood," said Jack Lacy, president of the Highland Village Professional Firefighters Association. "If you stumble, we're there to help get you through. Whatever it is."
"I say it's like a second family," firefighter Robert Dukes said. "Everybody trusts family. You'd do anything for your family."
That mentality is why many in the department in Denton County are stepping up to help a brother in need. Jones was scheduled to retire in February, when he was diagnosed just months earlier.
"All of a sudden you get this bad news, and it puts everything to a halt," Lacy said.
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This week, Jones started five weeks of cancer treatment at a Houston hospital. The Highland Village Professional Firefighters Association organized a June 30 benefit for him at Marty B's, a restaurant in nearby Bartonville. A GoFundMe page has also been set up for Jones. Organizers of both said 100% of the funds raised will help Jones and his wife with lodging, meals and other expenses, while the firefighter receives treatment.
"It's a little scary for everyone else, that's a first responder," Dukes said. "You have guys who've been in the service for a while, getting ready to retire, diagnosed with cancer."
That is why fellow firefighters, local businesses and community members have stepped up. To help take care of family.
"It gives everyone a sense of purpose," Lacy said. "To kind of be there for another brother and help him out. He knows we're there for him to help him out."