PHOENIX — Some local groups are teaming up to help the families of two emergency responders who died on the same day last month after suffering critical injuries in separate accidents.
On May 19, Phoenix police officer Daryl Raetz, 29, was conducting a DUI stop on a vehicle in west Phoenix when he was struck by another vehicle. He was taken to a hospital where he later died.
On the same day, 23-year-old Phoenix Firefighter Bradley Harper died from injuries he sustained a day earlier while fighting a mulch fire. He became pinned between two emergency vehicles as he was moving equipment.
The Emerald Societies of the Phoenix Firefighters and Arizona Law Enforcement decided they had to do something to help their families. On Saturday, they’ll be holding a fundraiser at Rosie McCaffrey’s Irish Pub near Seventh Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix from noon to 9 p.m.
The family-friendly event will include Irish music, dancing and a raffle in the afternoon. Burgers and hotdogs will be provided so that kids can eat for free. There will also be memorial T-shirts on sale for $20.
Firefighter Pat Schuller said while these events are meant to help the families of those who died, they also serve another purpose.
“The event is also very therapeutic for the firefighters and police officers of the Valley who knew firefighter Harper or officer Raetz,” Schuller said. “It gives them a chance to get together, tell some stories, laugh and joke and cry, and it helps them get through this.”
All the money collected at the event will go directly to the widows of Raetz and Harper.
“We’re asking for everybody to show up, show their support and just have a good time,” Schuller said.