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First Responder of the Week: Daniel Brown-Martinez

TFRD battalion chief jumps in to help make an inaugural event a huge success.
Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 11:23 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - In a year where many events had to be put on hold, people like Daniel Brown-Martinez are stepping up to safely bring back the fun, all for a good cause.

“Giving back to humanity, I speak I know for every police officer and firefighter -- that is who we are,” says Daniel Brown-Martinez. “And that’s what makes us continue to do the work that we do.”

Brown-Martinez is the battalion chief for Toledo Fire Station 24 in Point Place and has worked for TFRD for almost 20 years. He quickly stepped in to help organize the first-ever Polar Plunge event on February 28, benefitting Lucas County Special Olympics (Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities.) Instead of your typical dive into icy waters, the event featured an adapted water obstacle course at Glass City Metropark in Downtown Toledo -- raising $13,462 for LCSO.

“I reached out to him and right away, we became fast friends and he was right in there with me in the trenches trying to figure it out,” said Debbie Welch, who volunteers with LCSO and has a son who is a Special Olympian. She tells us her friend was able to put her in touch with Brown-Martinez, who gladly volunteered to help put on the Polar Plunge. He helped secure a venue and a few more volunteers for the big day. Firefighters came out on their days off to help with games, and provide medical support during the event. It was 50 degrees that day, so TFRD made sure the Olympians -- and the spectators -- stayed safe from the elements.

“It was an honor to serve,” says Brown-Martinez. “I appreciate this acknowledgment, but I also want to recognize those entities, and the ladies and gentlemen that assisted with the process -- because without them volunteering their time doing standby EMS or prepping the rigs -- this event wouldn’t have been as successful.”

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