Community steps up to assist firefighter injured in accident
GOFFSTOWN — The community is rallying around a Goffstown firefighter who was severely injured Saturday in a motorcycle crash.
The crash occurred Saturday after 8 p.m. on Tibbetts Hill Road. Matt Bechard suffered a serious head injury and is currently in an intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in stable but critical condition.
“He’s making as much progress as we could hope for,” said Goffstown Fire Lt. Derek Chouinard.
Bechard, 35, has been with the department for the last decade, and spearheads many of the community outreach programs such as the reading and bike donation programs at Goffstown schools. He’s also judged science contests, and helped others in the department with stone masonry work.
“Matt was the guy who let the kids paint his face and do his nails,” said Goffstown firefighter Stefan Donahue.
A GoFundMe page set up for the Bechard family has steadily brought in donations since it was started on Tuesday. By Wednesday evening, more than 200 people had raised more than $16,000, far exceeding the initial $10,000 goal.
A food train to bring food to the family while Bechard recovers has also been filled all the way up to the end of July, and Donahue said they keep getting messages non-stop with other offers to help out, like babysitting his two daughters.
Members of the Goffstown Fire and Police Departments even attended the kindergarten graduation for his daughter, Carrigan, this week since Bechard wasn’t able to be there.
Other fire departments in the state have been reaching out, including those of Bedford, Hooksett and New Boston, offering financial support and shift coverage.
Donahue said this outpouring of support is a testament to the many people who have been touched by Bechard’s generosity during his time with the fire department.
“We always live as a family,” he said. “This is one of the moments you realized how extended that family is. It extends a lot further than just fire and police.”
The GoFundMe page can be found at www.gofundme.com/matt-bechard. People can also reach out to Donahue or Chouinard at email@example.com.