Riverton Twp. Fire Chief Battles Cancer, Community Pours Out Support

A firefighter who spent decades serving his community is now getting some help himself. 

Joe Cooper is the fire chief for both Riverton Township and the Mason County Rural Fire Authority. He’s put out plenty of fires. But he’s now in a different kind of battle. 

Joe just recently found out he had Multiple Myeloma. Now the battle is on, but it’s one he and his family don’t have to face alone. 

"Never tallied up the calls but probably in the thousands," said Joe. 

If the Riverton Fire Department has ever put a fire out at your house chances are… 

"In the years time I make probably 90 percent of the calls," he said. 

You’ve seen this face before. Joe Cooper, tagging along with the fire department since before he put on a helmet. 

"Knew some guys on the department chased them for a few years out here and they said why don’t you join so we did that in 1990," he said. 

A community leader, even behind the scenes. 

"When he got home from chemo he spent a few hours working on a grant for the fire department I see him doing this stuff all the time so it makes me so happy to see that so many other people see it too," said Tracy Cooper. 

A couple weeks ago they found out…

"A weird feeling," Joe said. 

Joe has cancer. 

"Something I’ve always had in the back of my mind what if. Between working on a fruit farm exposed to a lot of chemicals and smoke and here at the fire department all of the structure fires," Joe said. 

"I think I cried for 24 hours straight and the kids took it very hard too," Tracy said. 

Now the family always there for everyone else, has the community wrapping their arms around them. With gas cards, prepared meals, and benefits with the funds going to help their beloved hero. 

"It’s amazing. Absolutely amazing. There are no words to express what everyone has been doing," Tracy said.  

"I still have my pager on. I still have my radio. And I told the guys I’ll always be there," Joe said. 
There are several ways to help the Cooper family.
You can find more information on the benefit dinner here. 

If you want to sign up for a meal train, here.