Sun Lakes firefighters give back to women who help them

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Sun Lakes firefighters honor women's association Sun Lakes firefighters honor women's association

The Sun Lakes Fire District doesn't have a lot of money to buy new gear and equipment.

"We're always looking at new and innovative ways to generate money to get funds," said Capt. Ron Puchta with the Sun Lakes Fire District. 

Among the items the firefighters need are new emergency multi-band radios. But they're not cheap.

To outfit all of Sun Lakes first responders with the high-tech radios would cost thousands of dollars.

"We used to carry two radios - one was for tactical - one was for EMS," said firefighter David DeGraaf. "What this enables us to do, is now take two radios down to one."

The fire district currently has just a couple of the new radios, but that's about to change thanks to Judy Caniglia and Marjorie Shipe, who head up the Sun Lakes Women's Association.

The local charity just donated $39,000 to the fire district so they can buy new radios.

"We figured why not give them everything they need to do their job," said Caniglia.

As a way to say thank you, firefighters reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to the women making their job easier.

A news crew was there for the big surprise.

"We wanted to honor the ladies that have helped us out so much, and we have nominated you for the Pay it Forward segment on Channel 5," said Puchta. "Without you ladies - without what you do year in and year out, and all the time thinking about us, we would not be able to do our job as effectively and successfully as we have."

"On behalf of the Sun Lakes Fire District Local 3560, and the Sun Lakes Community, we would like to Pay it Forward with $500," said Puchta. "It's an excellent way to say thank you get them the recognition they deserve."

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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