Firefighter brotherhood helps Sheltra family find lost phone with photos of fallen firefighter

Hundreds of miles apart, Texas fire and police departments went above and beyond to return a cell phone with photos of a fallen Pineville firefighter to his family.

A firefighter with the Pineville Volunteer Police Department, 20-year-old Richard Sheltra passed away after responding to a fire back in April.

Related: Community members, firefighters remember Richard Sheltra

While out west for some rest and bonding, his family found themselves in a real dilemma.

Bill Suthard, Public Information Officer for Huntersville Fire Department, shared the story of the Sheltra family’s experience in a Facebook post.

The post reads:

I have a heartwarming story to tell...Brian Sheltra and family are traveling out west for some rest, relaxation and family time. The pictures from the trip are amazing and of course they’ve worn their Richard Sheltra Shirts while out there (see picture from Breckenridge CO). During the trip one of the family members misplaced a cell phone in Limon Colorado. Once they realized it was missing they used the ‘find my iPhone’ APP and discovered that the phone was pinging in Dumas Texas, over 285 miles away. They thought fast and quickly called Dumas TX and reached the Dumas Fire Department with a desperate plea for help. They informed DFD of their story and their plight along with the last known location of the missing phone (somehow it had found its way from Limon CO to Dumas TX.)

Now THIS is where the firefighter Brotherhood kicks in! The FD duty crew immediately sprang into action, along with the local Police and recovered the missing phone; returning it to the Sheltra family. The phone contained MANY pictures of Richard and his family and holds a lot of special memories – it was absolutely important that this phone was found and IT WAS - with the assistance of some Texas firefighters!

You see, we talked about this Brotherhood quite a bit when we lost Richard back in April. Signs, gestures, acts of kindness, new friendships and the pure love that occurred and continues to occur further solidifies this firefighter Brotherhood. This amazing bond and faith in each other as well as our faith in God is Richard reminding us to watch over and care for each other every day. Richard remains with us; well beyond the Town limits of Pineville, the County of Mecklenburg, and the State of North Carolina. He teaches us every day to help one another and to have each other’s back for we cannot do it all alone.

Dumas FD, you guys have some love on the way. We’re sending you some‪#‎PVFD73 swag and an open invitation that if you EVER find your way to Charlotte North Carolina…you have a home, some cold drinks and a hug from quite a few firefighters and family. We appreciate you and what you did for the Sheltra family and we’re so thankful that the firefighter BROTHERHOOD has NO limits.

A 5K and one mile fun run/walk is being held in memory of Richard Sheltra on September 10. All proceeds benefit the “Richard Sheltra Memorial Fund.” The fund is designed to purchase new turnout gear and educational expenses for first responders, according to the sign up page.

Sign up or donate here