Alabama wildland firefighter offering aid in Australia; community rallies back home to help wildlife

Local firefighter helping fight bushfires in Australia

Talladega, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama is offering aid in Australia as firefighters continue to get a handle on the massive bushfires and for one family and community it’s all hands on deck.

Oxford Girl Scout Troop 20136 is pretty busy these days.

“We are sewing our little hearts out and we’re making kangaroo pouches, wallaby pouches, and pet beds for the wildlife in Australia,” said Autumn Snyder, Assistant Troop Leader.

Her husband, Sean Snyder is a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service, Talladega Ranger District, and one of 30 recently deployed to Australia to help.

“She’s nervous all the time knowing what Dad is doing, so we want to distract her by doing some good. So we involved the troop and this is what we came up with and it’s awesome,” said Snyder.

The troop is sending the items to their partner troop in Australia to go to relief agencies working to treat animals rescued from the scorching bushfires. Assistant Troop Leader Autumn Snyder’s daughter, Madeline busies herself with pinning fabric, a brief distraction.

“He was in that group when that viral video came out of everyone being applauded. I’m so humbled because that’s not the welcome they usually get anywhere else,” said Snyder, “The science is you put fire out with fire and that’s true. It’s just not an understood science, so the person behind it doesn’t get applauded or rewarded or thank you.”

And he’s considered a hometown hero.

“It’s an honor because we’re making our impact, while Madeline’s dad is making his and that’s really big for everyone because we just want to do what we can to help,” said Anna Jones, Junior Girl Scout.

“This is what he was put on Earth to do. He is doing it for us, for them, for himself, and we couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Snyder.

The group of firefighters recently deployed could be there for the next 30 days or more.

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