ALTON - A brotherhood exists in firefighting and police work that is difficult to compare to other professions. In firefighting, it means firefighters can count on each other, teach and encourage each other, and spend time with each other and their families.

When a fellow firefighter has a time of need, the others are there for that team member. It is also a comradeship and family that firefighters together earn through the perils of smoke and soot. Firefighters have to be able to count on one another during some terrible emergencies.

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Recently, 10 Alton firefighters traveled to Missouri Baptist to support one of their own - Captain Rusty Long - in his last chemotherapy infusion. The Alton firefighters were there to wish him the best when Long rang the bell to signify the end of chemotherapy.

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Alton Deputy Fire Chief Matt Fisher said the brotherhood and concern for each other develop when you spend 24 hours a day together and get to know each other’s family as a firefighter.

“I thought it was nice to see that good turnout of our firefighters for Rusty Long,” Fisher said. “We had some doing some required training or we would have had even more than that there for Rusty.”

Fisher said he was proud of the firefighters for their dedicated efforts each day and what they did for Rusty. He said it was just another example of what a good group of firefighters are part of the Alton team.

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