A benefit dinner and dessert auction for a firefighter with the Lewis-Arriola Volunteer Fire Department who is battling cancer will be held Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 pm at the Lewis Arriola Community Center, 21203 County Road S.
According to a fire department Facebook post, firefighter Emil Hindmarsh, 20, was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer in August. Since then, it has metastasized to his lungs. He is undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Hindmarsh has been an active volunteer member of the department for more than two years, starting at age 18.
Chief George Deavers said Hindmarsh graduated from the Montezuma County Fire Academy, and his certifications include Firefighting Class 1 and 2, hazardous materials, and wildland firefighting.
“Emil is a smart, strong hand with a lot of energy,” Deavers said. “On a fire or rescue, he puts out tremendous effort.”
Several local fire department crews have shaved their heads in solidarity with Hindmarsh, who lost his hair because of the chemotherapy cancer treatments.
Support for Hindmarsh has come from departments throughout the Four Corners, Deavers said.
“Firefighters are one big family that goes beyond individual departments,” he said.
The benefit dinner and dessert auction will help cover Hindmarsh’s growing medical expenses.
In a March 4 Facebook post, Hindmarsh showed appreciation for the support.
“Everyone on these departments and throughout the community have showed support one can only dream of,” he said in a prepared statement. “Whether I have worked with some of you, fought beside you, have been taught by you, or even simply shook your hand, I am so very thankful of how this community will all stand side by side another brother in a helmet.”
When he is not working as a volunteer firefighter, Hindmarsh works for Stotz Equipment in Cortez, and also loves to go fishing and hunting.