Retired firefighter walks 650-miles to raise awareness about firefighter benefits

- A retired Orange County firefighter, Tom "Bull" Hill, along with several Orange County Fire Rescue (OCFR) and Central Florida firefighters, leads the #MarchOfTheBull effort. 

Bull's mission is to foster awareness and advocacy for stronger firefighter benefits after the loss of two OCFR firefighters who died because of cancer and left their families with heavy financial losses.

“I don't know if I'd call it a 'mission,' as much as fulfilling a promise to two guys,” Bull said.

Bull is walking from Key West to Tallahassee, stopping at fire stations on the way. Although his journey is 650 miles, he is walking an average of 10 to 12 miles daily, stopping at fire stations along the way.

Bull,is doing this to lobby state lawmakers for stronger benefits for the families of firefighters who die from cancer. He is hoping to obtain 50,000 signatures on a petition to the Florida legislature throughout his walk. 

“What I don't understand is when everything goes wrong, it's the firemen that are there to help them,” Hill said, “it's not like we're asking for a raise. If we use these benefits, it's because we're already dead.”

While Bull's mission began in honor of his two OCFR friends, he now walks carrying the patches of 83 fire fighters also believed to have died as a result of a presumptive cancer diagnosis. 

Watch as he walks through his home jurisdiction in Orange County.

 

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