Fundraiser planned for Acworth firefighter hurt in crash
By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent |
April 28. 2014 7:49PM
ACWORTH — The town fire company is rallying around one of their own. Longtime member Michael Blake, 65, suffered a broken neck after he crashed his truck on Hill Road the morning of April 1.
Later this month an Italian dinner is planned at the Acworth Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company fire house to help Blake and his wife pay for expenses, said Steven Morris, Chief of the Acworth Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company.
Blake was heading south on Hill Road in his 1986 GMC pickup truck when he lost control, hit a guardrail, went over the guardrail and down an embankment. When the truck hit the guardrail it split in two. The cab of the truck detached from the frame and rolled farther down the hill where Blake was trapped inside until firefighters freed him.
He was flown to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon with serious injuries, including a broken neck.
He underwent surgery to realign the bones the same day, but doctors were concerned he would be paralyzed. Thankfully, those fears were never realized and Blake took his first steps since the accident last week, Morris said.
“He started walking last week. He did 16 feet,” Morris said. “He’s recovering pretty good.”
Blake has been a firefighter with the Acworth Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company for 35 years, Morris said. He is also a self-employed carpenter. Since the accident his wife has been traveling to the hospital daily and hasn’t been able to work. She plans to return to work part-time, but the couple has been without an income all month, Morris said.
Firefighters hope the dinner will raise money for the Blakes. There will be vegetarian options at the dinner, he said.
Volunteers are also helping to build a handicap ramp in front of the Blake home and Morris, who is a plumber, plans to fit the Blake’s bathroom with a handicap toilet.