COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The annual first responders' BBQ is back, mission-driven, and inspired by a fallen first responder.
Some of the first responder agencies have already begun showing up, they’re heating up those pits and getting ready for the cook-off.
In honor of Brian Bachman who lost his life in the line of duty in 2012. Those closest to him launched the First Responders Association in 2014.
“This is our annual fundraising event, it’s a BBQ cook-off,” said Jerry Barratt, president of the First Responder Association.
The annual BBQ fundraising effort helps families of and first responders injured or in need of financial assistance.
When John Campbell discovered his wife was facing a life-threatening illness, he felt there was little to no hope.
“It affects the red blood cells in her body and she had to spend one month in the hospital,” said John Campbell, Fire Responder Association recipient.
All that time in the hospital, all that money spent on travel expenses, he began to feel alone. Then suddenly the support that was always there but he didn't realize it, came knocking on his door.
"I was contacted by a couple of the members of this association and quite surprised, they tell me they wanted to donate to help with her costs,” Campbell
Since the annual BBQ fundraiser originated it has gained national traction. This year's BBQ will host nearly 20 different first responder agencies
”We had teams come as far as Laredo fire department, we’ve got a team from Louisiana this year, I think it’s close to New Orleans, they’re coming, we’ve got four maybe five teams this year that we haven't had in the past,” added Barratt.
The first responders association has helped dozens of families each year.
“One of the biggest honors in my life is to be a part of this and to be the president,” shared Barratt.
“I’m humbled to be vice president of the association and I think it’s a great cause for our community,” shared Kenny Elliot, vice president of the first responder association.
The Brazos county first responders association BBQ fundraiser welcomes the public to join in on all the festivities and will take place this Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at St. Nicks green.