Clare Seamstress Tailored to Help Grieving Firefighters

As the firefighters at the Clare Fire Department realized they had to prepare for the funeral of one of their own, a major issue arose. They did not have suitable dress uniforms.

The fire department didn’t just need some alterations done to get their dress uniforms ready for the visitation in the funeral, they did not even have any to begin with.

Clare Fire has discussed getting dress uniforms for years but always instead spent the money on equipment. After Firefighter Ethan Gage was killed last week, the need was now.

Assistant chief Sam Eberhardt scrambled to find uniforms off the rack and raced to Stitches for Britches in town to have them tailored.

“It ended up being a lot bigger job than I anticipated initially,” says Stephanie Badour, owner of Stitches for Britches in Clare, “We just knew we had to do whatever it took. Whether that meant working late or whatever.”

“I did ask,” says Eberhardt, “But I asked more for forgiveness and I started with an apology.”

Twenty uniforms to be measured altered and dressed in time for the visitation Friday evening. Badour and her crew got to work and finished the project in two and a half days, with just an hour to spare.

“I don’t know how she did it,” says Eberhardt, “But she did.”

“It warms our heart to be able to do that for the family and for the community as a whole,” says Badour.

The uniform work may have been the most impressive given the time but it was just one example of the support show to the firefighters since Ethan’s death.

“It’s just been amazing and it connects this department with every business and individual in this community,” says Eberhardt, “To be honest, it’s amazing how well it’s come together.”

Usually the firefighters do the saving but for one week, it was a seamstress that saved the day.

“She didn’t let me down. She didn’t let this town down. She didn’t let this department down,” says Eberhardt, “She especially didn’t let Ethan down.