BELLEVUE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Saturday evening, Middle Tennessee first responders came together on the ice to support one of their own.
The Metro Nashville Police Department beat the Nashville Fire Department and other area firefighters 8-4 during the 10th annual Nashville Fire 9/11 Memorial Hockey Game at Ford Ice Center.
In addition to remembering fallen first responders from the 9/11 attacks, the game recognizes local police and fire personnel who have been lost and injured.
This year’s match recognized Mt. Juliet Fire Department Lt. Kenny Hudson, who was just released from the hospital last week after being critically injured fighting the Glass Creek Apartments fire.
“He’s going to do the ceremonial puck drop. He’s feeling better, getting stronger every day, just working through those injuries and the burns to let them heal, and hopefully get him back to the job as soon as we can,” explained Josh Lackey, captain of the Nashville Fire Local 140 Hockey Team.
Lackey, a paramedic, remembered hearing about the Glass Creek Apartments fire from Aug. 12 that landed Hudson in the hospital for 22 days. It didn’t take long for Lackey and other event organizers to step up and help Hudson through this year’s game.
“When it happens close to home, it hits where you think about your guys and you and everybody else that’s around you, and the job that we do, sometimes it puts you back in check of ‘it can be you tomorrow,'” Lackey said.
In addition to Hudson getting to drop the first puck, all proceeds from the game on Saturday, Sept. 16 will go towards his road to recovery.
“It could be a fire, something as simple as getting out of the truck on the interstate. One of us could get injured very quickly, and just always trying to have each other’s backs, and that’s what we do here, to make sure that we can take care of them when they need it,” Lackey told News 2.
Although organizers won’t know the total amount of proceeds from the game for a few more days, they said they hope to donate at least several thousand dollars to help Hudson.
Meanwhile, MJ4Hope — a nonprofit organization — started a relief fund following the fire and continues to take in donations for the Hudson family and the dozens of people who lost their homes. To learn more, click here.