Cherry Hill firefighters can continue education thanks to book donation from Hunter’s Heroes…

Cherry Hill firefighters can continue education thanks to book donation from Hunter’s Heroes Foundation

The foundation, founded in memory of long-time Cinnaminson firefighter Chris Hunter, donated 25 fire-training books to the Cherry Hill Public Library. The books are now available for library patrons to read and check out.

Cherry Hill Public Library reference librarian Claire Schmieder, Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn, Hunter’s Heroes Foundation founder Claire Hunter, Cherry Hill Fire Commissioner Kellie Montana and Cherry Hill Fire Department Battalion Chief Jason Houck were all on hand at the Thank a Firefighter event at the Cherry Hill Public Library on Monday evening.

Firefighter Chris Hunter enjoyed learning as much as he could about his profession.

A firefighter for more than 20 years with the Cinnaminson Fire Department, Hunter had a collection of more than 60 fire training and fire safety books at home where he strived to better himself in his profession.

In 2014, Hunter died at home less than 24 hours after responding to emergency incidents on his regular shift.

To honor his memory, his wife, Claire, and other friends and community members decided to start an organization called the Hunter’s Heroes Foundation to spread Chris’ love for firefighting and professional education to others in South Jersey.

Cherry Hill residents were invited to hop in a fire truck during Thank a Firefighter at the Cherry Hill Public Library on Monday.

On Monday, the foundation paid a visit to the Cherry Hill Public Library and donated 25 fire safety and training books that are now available for all library members to read and check out. The donation was made during a “Thank a Firefighter” event at the library.

The selection of books, all of which pertain to fire safety and education, were all part of Chris’ book collection.

“These book titles were from Chris’ personal library, some of which he read more than once,” Hunter said.

The donation to the Cherry Hill Public Library is the fourth Hunter’s Heroes Foundation has made since it was founded last year. The foundation has also donated books to Chris’ hometown library in Cinnaminson, the Burlington County Library in Westampton and the Willingboro Public Library. Hunter said the donated books are constantly being read and checked out at those libraries.

“We have access to be able to look online to see how many are actually out at the moment,” she said. “There’s been a great reaction to how many people have taken one out so far.”

The availability of the books is a plus for firefighters in Cherry Hill. Cherry Hill Fire Department Battalion Chief Jason Houck said the books will allow firefighters and other community members to study without footing the large cost of the books.

“It’s about $1,500 worth of books up here,” Houck said. “That’s a lot of expense for firefighters or people who want to get into the fire service and don’t know where to start.”

All of the books on display at Monday’s ceremony are now available to read at the Cherry Hill Public Library.

Claire Schmieder, reference librarian at the Cherry Hill Public Library, said the library didn’t have fire-training books in its collection before she spoke with Claire Hunter.

“I was immediately impressed with the work she’s doing and the foundation does in memory of her husband,” Schmieder said.

“This is a gap in our collection,” Schmieder added. “We didn’t have this material yet. So this is amazing to have it all at once and to offer to the public, our professionals and to those interested in the profession.”

A number of volunteers for Hunter’s Heroes Foundation attended the donation ceremony at the library last week. Hunter credited them with helping her getting the nonprofit off the ground. The foundation plans to continue raising money so it can donate books to more libraries in South Jersey.

“I’ve had a lot of people that helped me throughout the way and showed me which direction to go into,” Hunter said. “With the help of a lot of people, it has gone pretty well.”

For more information on Hunter’s Heroes Foundation or to donate, visit http://www.huntersheroesfoundation.org.