Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) – Marathon County firefighters worked in colder temperatures today to support one of their own.

Mike Herdina retired from Wausau Fire Department last December. A week later, his wife was diagnosed with a severe form of cancer, according to Wausau Fire Department.

Firefighters from across Marathon County came together Saturday to host an ice fishing tournament to raise money to the family’s unexpected medical bills.

Wausau Firefighters Community Assistance Foundation President Matt Tormohlen says this is a cause that he hopes the community will support.

“As firefighters, we spend a lot of the time helping the community,” he explained, “and sometimes we forget that we’re a part of that community too and we need help sometimes too.”

Tormohlen says Herdina served as a firefighter for 25 years. Although he was able to save money, medical bills can be hard to prepare for.

“That’s a pretty long time in the fire service,” Tormohlen said. “It’s pretty hard on your body and mind. They spend a lot of time budgeting for retirement in the form of a pension and sometimes that pension doesn’t really meet the needs of the family, especially health care.”

The foundation sold plates of food prepared by the Eagles Club and raffled several items.

“We have an ice fishing package, which is an ice shanty and some fishing gear,” Tormohlen said. “We have firearm with some ammunition and a bunch of other hunting and fishing stuff.”

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