SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Battalion Chief Andre Durham has been with Suffolk Fire and Rescue for almost 26 years.

But he’s had to take a break from duty to recover from a motorcycle accident that happened back in January

“I spent two months in Norfolk General Hospital and the support of the fire department and the family has just been great, I couldn’t have done it without them,” said Durham.

He has a close bond with many of those he works with, and when Durham got in the crash, his fellow brothers and sisters knew they had to step in to help.

“On behalf of all Suffolk firefighters were hoping you get back soon,” said firefighter Jonathon Guffey.

They presented him with a check for a little over $9,000.
Guffey says he and his wife came up with the idea to host a benefit for Durham and that’s how they raised the money.
Firefighters and paramedics from all over the area came out to support them
“My daughter coined a phrase that day, ‘7 cities, one family,’ and that kind of says it all,” said Guffey.
Durham says his second family stepped in when he needed them the most.

“It’s a family away from home. We work together, eat together, sleep together, we’re here 24 hours at a time. This is your family, the fire department is your second family,” he said.

And as one big family, they sat down to pray together and eat together — a moment Durham is extremely grateful for.

“They’ve been there for me from the moment of my accident, and as you can see, they’re still here for me now,” said Durham.
They were also able to get a temporary wheelchair ramp for Durham’s home.
Firefighters have an account set up for Durham at the Portsmouth Fire Department’s credit union if anyone is interested in donating.