Overcoming Devastation with the Aid of Community Support - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Overcoming Devastation with the Aid of Community Support

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A local family is working to reassemble their lives after a devastating plane crash killed three loved ones and critically injured another. It was only two weeks ago when the accident happened in northern Bay County. Tom Schultz is a Paramedic Firefighter for the Jackson County Fire and Rescue. On Sunday, May 25th, Tom and his family were out spending the day together. They started the day flying planes and planned to visit the beach later on. Sadly, the family never made it to the beach.

After takeoff the plane carrying; Kathleen Schultz, mother, Patrick Sachultz, brother, Nicholas Hoang, stepson and Nancy Moore, aunt, crashed forever changing many lives. Shortly after the accident Tom’s fellow firefighters arrived to help work the scene, "I wouldn't want anyone else there working my family than those guys in Jackson County.” Said Tom. “They gave my family the best chance of survival.” Patrick was flying the plane and he was the only survivor. "He is in the burn unit in Augusta, Georgia. He is critical but stable, multiple surgeries and he is still on the ventilator."

The Jackson County Firefighters are still helping today. In honor of Nicholas, Tom’s stepson, Jackson County Fire and Rescue transformed his helmet. The front shield has Nicholas’s name and for the month of June the station will be riding with his helmet front and center on the truck. “If the roles were reversed Tom would be the same way.” said President Local Union 3043, Ricky Winget. “He would be trying to help us out."

Local Union 3043 set up a fund for the family at SunTrust Bank. The fund is called the Jackson County Firefighters Schultz Fund. In just two weeks the community has raised more than $1,000 to give to Tom and his family during this difficult time. Funds are helping the family with funeral costs, medical expenses and anything else the family needs. In the coming weeks Local Union 3043 hopes to put on a boot drive and host a poker run to aid the family.