ARVADA, Colo. — The slogan at the Arvada Fire Department is, "Our family helping your family" and 7Everyday Hero Dave Matus is a firefighter who has taken that to heart. He performs rescues of a different sort on his days off.
When he's not fighting fires, Lieutenant Matus of the Arvada Fire Department is giving in a different way.
"I don't know how it came up; the Lord put it on my heart maybe, I don't know," Matus said.
Matus collects medical supplies. People drop off wheelchairs and other mobility devices at station number five in Arvada, where he works, and everything is taken to Dave's Locker.
"It is a storage area of all the equipment," Matus said.
It is all medical mobility devices that people no longer need.
"The equipment comes in as people donate it. It comes in the front door. It stays out there until it is disinfected and cleaned," Matus said.
Then, all of it is loaned out to people who need it, free of charge.
"So, we've got stuff like a knee scooter," said Matus. There are also wheelchairs, crutches, and various walkers.
"And when I get too many, I donate them to another group," Matus said.
Dave's Locker started with equipment Matus had bought after his own hip surgery.
"I donated all of my stuff here to start," Matus said.
And then with word of mouth, all of Arvada has chipped in.
"In the first year I took care of 124 people with 212 pieces of equipment," Matus said.
Matus focuses on Arvada, but word has gotten out.
"I get calls now from people from Denver. I don't know how they got my number, but they talked with somebody. I try to keep it right here because there are other loan closets," Matus said.
And Dave Matus does all this in addition to his firefighting duties.
"I am here on my days off as many as five times a day and six to seven days a week," Matus said.
"The community has benefited from the hard work that Dave puts in both on and off duty. I couldn't be more proud of him and I'm honored that he's part of our department," said Arvada Fire Chief Jon Greer.
To learn more about Dave's Locker simply call the Arvada Fire Department at 303-424-3012.
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.