AL: Retired firefighter, turns into a true American hero

Caught this on CNN, what an amazing story, reminded me of Flip Wilson, the retired NYC fireman who works with Gene Jackson, a retired Steamfitter in NY to help our severely wounded returning veterans. It amazes me how people will do so much to help others, really go out and help, not just with money, but get their hands dirty to change the world for the better.

Russel Jackson is a guy who made me actually watch TV, with the severe need for health care in the United States, like my recent story "60 minutes follows charatible remote health care facility now needed here in the United States", whereby a medical service on wheels that was initially intended to be used in third world countries, now goes across the United States to help our own people. Well heres another hero, this guy actually started something

I wish I could get the videos embedded here, but what the heck, you'll have to click a link or two from this story.

From CNN "Helping kids get well one car ride at a time" (7/3/08):

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (CNN) -- If Russell Jackson has his way, any child who needs medical care but lacks the transportation to get there will have a safe and reliable alternative.

Russell Jackson started Kid One, which has ferried thousands of children to medical appointments.

"We found that there were 80,000-plus children in Alabama living in a home with no car," Jackson says.

"And in the rural areas, there are no cabs, there are no buses, there are no trains. ... Millions of children in our country every day have no access to medical care when they need to reach it."

Jackson is so determined that in 1997 he gave up his career as an Alabama firefighter, moved in with friends and dug into his retirement account to start Kid One Transport, a nonprofit organization that provides rides for needy children in his home state.

In 11 years, Kid One's fleet of vans has ferried more than 16,000 kids to and from scheduled medical-related appointments all over Alabama.

Video Watch Jackson describe the need for medical transportation in rural Alabama »

Jackson never anticipated he would leave the fire department to head up a nonprofit organization. After all, firefighting was the culmination of a lifelong dream.

"What little boy doesn't want to be a firefighter?" Jackson says, laughing.

Continue over at CNN to read the rest, to all the heroes out there on this Independence Day, thank you.

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