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Fill the Boot campaign underway

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – The annual Fill the Boot campaign hit the pavement Thursday in the Fort.

Every year, firefighters collect money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

You can catch firefighters walking around with boots at local businesses this year.

On Wednesday, City Council passed an amendment to a city ordinance that would overrule a Mayor’s Office policy forbidding firefighters from collecting funds at public intersections like in years past.

READ MORE: Fill the Boot campaign gets boost from area business

Last year, while following that policy, firefighters raised tens of thousands of dollars less for the MDA.

A city spokesperson cited safety concerns as the reason for the policy.

Even though the amendment officially passed, it doesn’t mean you’ll see firefighters on the streets.

Fort Wayne Fire Department Chief Eric Lahey says he has the final say in the matter, and he doesn’t think the street collection is worth the safety risk.

A local fire union disagrees.

“We understand the inherent risk. We understand there are safety concerns. That’s in every part of our job. Firefighters operate in a safe manner,” President of the Fort Wayne Professional Firefighters Jeremy Bush said.

“We wanted to make sure that the city ordinances did not prevent a good cause from being able to raise money the way that they did,” Fort Wayne City Councilman Michael Barranda said.

Firefighters are hoping to raise money more inline with the $100,000 from years past as opposed to the $40,000 they raised last year.

Crews raised more than $20 million nationally in 2018.

If you’d like to donate online, head to the Fort Wayne Firefighter’s Facebook page.

Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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