Carrboro firefighters Michael Miller of Chapel Hill and Michael Lane of Carrboro, who are doing a 26.2-mile ruck march to support the Coffee for a Cause charity, took a break by the North Carolina Botanical Garden to talk about their endeavor today (Tuesday, Sept. 20). Please see video of firefighters telling their story at https://youtu.be/KUpYDLH1S-8
They began the marathon from Carrboro Fire Station 2 on Homestead Road. Upon seeing the men walking by Chapel Hill High School in the morning, an individual called 9-1-1. The men appeared to look suspicious and threatening to the individual. As a result, Chapel Hill High School was placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure. The School Resource Officer contacted the firefighters and immediately recognized that there was no threat and the school resumed normal activities.
“We apologize for the inconvenience to the school, as well as the undue stress that this caused for the students, their families and school staff,” said Interim Fire Chief Will Potter. “While the march was a well-intentioned idea, this was not a department-sponsored or sanctioned event.”
Coffee for a Cause (https://www.firedeptcoffee.com/pages/charity) is a charitable organization that supports “groups that help firefighters and first responders who are injured on the job, mentally or physically, or who are facing other serious health challenges.”
During the early part of their march, the firefighters were wearing a ruck sack and a weight vest, as well as an American flag. They removed the ruck sack and weight vest following the incident at the high school.
The firefighters were pursuing the challenge on their day off. Both Miller and Lane are graduates of Chapel Hill High School.
“We know that the times have been really stressful, and we are sorry,” Lane said. “We don’t want to create stress. We want to help people.”