Amarillo firefighters are mobilizing to support one of their own

As a firefighter, Dory Mogelinski worked every day for the last 25 years of his life to protect the lives and property of others. Now his brothers in arms are doing their best to help him.

Mogelinksi was recently diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer and is preparing to undergo chemotherapy to fight a battle his training did not prepare him for. This specific type of cancer has a five-year survival rate of 66%, according to

Local Firefighters Union 542 rallied troops around one of its best to raise funds to help Mogelinski in his fight against cancer.

Amarillo Firefighters Union President Dana Havlik spoke about the importance of supporting Mogelinski as he tackles cancer.

“Understanding the kind of battle Dory will have to fight with cancer, we just wanted to be able to support her and help her have all the resources they can physically and financially have,” said Havlik.

Havlik said they chose the t-shirts as a way to fundraise because firefighters love t-shirts and it was their way of spreading the word as a kind of billboard to support the one of theirs. He said the members responded very well to their participation.

“I have known Dory for a long time; he’s the firefighter’s firefighter, ”Havlik said. “Everyone in the department wants to show their support. Dory has always done for others, and we just want to give them back.

In addition to selling t-shirts, there is a GoFundMe page and a direct donation option available at Amarillo National Bank, the Dory Mogelinski Benefit Fund.

Amarillo Fire Department liaison Jeff Justus said he was surprised to learn of Mogelinski’s cancer.

“It’s devastating for this department because Dory is AFD’s tough guy, and for the tough guy we all admire for getting that, … It shows me that if it can happen to her, it can. happen to me, and it scares us all, ”said Justus.

Mogelinski said he always wanted to be a firefighter and always admired seeing them in the community as a child.

“It was a dream come true to be a firefighter; that’s what I always wanted to be, ”he said.

At higher risk

Speaking of the increased safety and modern measures that have been implemented or need to be implemented, Mogelinksi said he is doing the right things to keep you safe as a firefighter.

He said it is very important to keep equipment clean and to use it correctly and said studies have shown the importance of changing dirty equipment, which can contain harmful carcinogens.

“For the most part, no one likes change; There were times early in my career when I resisted change. Looking back, I’m glad we made a difference to improve our health, ”he said.

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death among firefighters, according to the CDC. Research suggests that firefighters are at a higher risk of certain types of cancer compared to the general population.

Firefighters can come into contact with chemicals by breathing them in, putting them on their skin or in their eyes, or by swallowing them. If protective clothing, called response suits, is not properly cleaned or stored after a fire response or training event, chemicals on the suit or equipment can contaminate vehicles and the fire station. The reuse of dirty switchgear or respiratory protection can also lead to exposure to hazardous substances. These exposures can occur through skin contact with contaminated personal protective equipment (PPE) or through inhalation or ingestion of particles from contaminated PPE.

“People thought you were a badass firefighter if all your gear was dirty, but you’re a badass firefighter just to be a firefighter,” Mogelinksi said. “You have to keep your things clean so that years later you can live a healthy and happy life when you leave this job. “

How to help

Those interested in purchasing t-shirts can access

The GoFundMe page can be found at:

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