Benefit fund aids local firefighters who are falling on tough times

The Local 3412 Firefighter Benefit Fund is seeking sponsors and participants for its annual golf outing.

Created by members of Union Township’s Local 3412 to aid local firefighters and residents, the Fund is financially supported by the Fire in the Hole golf outing. This year the event will take place on Sept. 14 at Legendary Run Golf Course. If your business would like to support the Fund and local firefighters, visit for more information.

Jim Nickell, Captain at the Milford Community Fire Department, received a donation from the Local 3412 Benefit Fund in 2008. During the previous year, his son, Corey, was diagnosed with a rare cancer called neuro-glaucoma. At two years old, Corey was given a 30 percent chance of survival.

The support of the Benefit Fund helped make it possible for Jim and his family to focus on caring for Corey. Firefighters from other departments supported Jim by stepping in to cover his shifts while the Fund offered a generous donation in the form of Kroger gift cards.

“Nobody is immune to tragedy,” Jim said, “And no one wants to be a recipient, but the Fund’s contribution helped to ease our stresses so that we could focus all of our energy and attention on Corey.”

Corey battled cancer for over two years before he passed away on Feb. 7, 2009.

Recently, the Fund was able to help Union Township firefighter, Scott McGhee. In February, Scott began to feel pain in his back due to damaged disks, which were the result of the constant heavy lifting and repetition required of him as a firefighter. On March 4, he had a high-risk, three-and-a-half hour spinal surgery and since then, has made a full recovery.

Earlier this year, Scott had used up sick days to take care of his family while his wife battled breast cancer. He had also taken days off to visit his brother who, at the time, was not expected to survive severe injuries he had sustained in Iraq. Scott’s surgery, which took him out of work for 10 weeks, was icing on the cake.

During the surgery, Tim Stephens, Secretary for Local 3412 and other firefighters, were there to support Scott and his wife in the hospital waiting room. The Local 3412 Firefighter Benefit Fund offered Scott financial assistance to help offset the costs of lost pay, medical bills and plane tickets.

“He didn’t want to take the money,” Tim said, “but I told him he had no choice.” While Scott recovered, Tim made a trip to Scott’s bank where he convinced the teller to deposit a check from the Fund.

In 1999, the Local 3412 Firefighter Benefit Fund was founded to support firefighters who had fallen on tough times. For 12 years, the Benefit Fund, which was established by members of the Local 3412 fire station in Union Township, has grown in hopes of bettering the community, offering scholarships to students pursuing public service in higher education and helping not just individuals who belong to Local 3412, but other Cincinnati firefighters as well.