Nebraska communities rally around first responders, families impacted by wildfires

CAMBRIDGE, Neb. (KLKN) – A 10-year staple to Cambridge, Nebraska, is just one place stepping up to support neighbors and first responders during a time of need.

Between evacuations, Amateur’s Bar N Grill spent its weekend serving free meals to firefighters, first responders and anyone impacted by the biggest wildfires this community has ever seen.

Jamie Tomlin, the manager of Amateur’s, said that this was just one way that the restaurant could help.

“Those firemen, and you know, they went out and risked their lives,” she said. “They left their families at home and whatnot. I mean, that’s just what we do out here. It’s our responsibility to help feed them.”

It makes her emotional just to think about what her friends, family and community have been going through these last 72 hours, but it’s even more heartwarming to see those same people step up.

“I’m going to get teary-eyed,” she said. “You know, when you are evacuated from your home, you have nowhere to go. I mean where do you go, what do you do? I mean, Arapahoe opened up and brought in so many, and so did Holbrook. Southwest was open till they were evacuated. It’s just very humbling to know that they always have your back, doesn’t matter what it is. The community is just amazing,” Tomlin said.

And Amateur’s Bar N Grill wasn’t alone.

Dozens of local businesses and organizations have been a helping hand these last few days.

Two ladies from First Central Bank in McCook took it upon themselves to pack up a car full of essential items for the Curtis Volunteer Fire Department.

First responders want the communities to know that their generosity is not going unnoticed.

“The last time I can remember anything that was this or more was 20 years ago, 9/11, when the world rallied together, and you just don’t see that anymore,” said Jason Kloepping, a volunteer firefighter with the Bartley Rural Fire Department. “It’s awesome to see communities come together and everybody pull together and try to fight this thing.”

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