Fill-the-Boot gets personal after NPFD loses retiree to ALS

By Alana Cerrone

acerrone@abc6.com

@Alana_Cerrone

For decades, fire departments have been “filling the boot” to collect money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

But it’s personal for the North Providence Fire Department – one of their own died from ALS last month.

David DiIorio, better known as Ditz, was on the job for 30 years and ‘Fill the Boot’ was always ‘his thing’.

This is the first collection season since his passing, and his former coworkers say even in his death he is their motivation to get out there and fill the boot.

"He was always the first out there to collect, [and] the last one in off the road.”

But Ditz’s contributions are not over. The crew wears special t-shirts in his memory, complete with a patch with his name on it. Funds from the shirts go towards the MDA Muscle Walk.

"He would’ve been right out there with us – without a doubt. It has a lot more meaning this year."

Fire departments usually collect through Labor Day, and North Providence is always a top fundraiser in the state.

© WLNE-TV 2017