BOSTON (CBS) – Through her grief, the mother of fallen firefighter Michael Kennedy recalled the day her son died in a fire in the Back Bay.
"I turned on the television to see a large group of grim, desperate looking firefighters rushing my son down the street on a stretcher," Kathy Crosby-Bell recalled.
Firefighter Kennedy and Lt. Ed Walsh were killed in the 9-alarm Beacon Street fire on March 26.
Since then the outpouring of support inspired Crosby-Bell to start the Last Call Foundation, an effort to raise money for equipment, education and research.
"The only good that can come from this horrible loss is to focus on and enhance the ability of our firefighters to effectively and safely fight fires," said Crosby-Bell.
The first grant will go to research improving hoses used by firefighters. Crosby-Bell says a vital hose was burned through on the day her son was killed.
"It's completely unacceptable," said sophomore Chris Scangas at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who will work on the study.
"We have firefighters everyday risking their lives. If tools so dependent on their survival and protection of civilians don't work, then it puts so much meaning behind the project."
The foundation is a way to help keep all firefighters safe -- and help a mother heal.
"For me it's a problem for Michael to be a memory, for him to be lost in history," said Crosby-Bell.
"So this is my way of bringing his spirit forward."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports
Mother of Late Firefighter Creates Last Call Foundation
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