LUBBOCK, Texas – Families gathered Tuesday in the Picoso’s Mexican Kitchen parking lot to learn from firefighters and look around their fire truck, all in an effort to prompt the 5-5-5 Initiative. 

In January of 2020, Lt. Eric Hill lost his life in the line of duty as he and others were responding to a crash on Interstate 27. Due to icy road conditions, a vehicle struck Lt. Hill, along with police officer Matt Reyna and fireman Matt Dawson. 

Lt. Hill and Officer Reyna suffered fatal injuries, and Dawson was severely injured. Shortly after the accident, Lt. Hill’s parents started the 5-5-5 Initiative which reminds others of how to stay safe and keep first responders safe. 

“The best way to keep them safe is to not have accidents. If we slow down and drive safely and have less accidents, these guys have less exposure on the road,” Mark Hill, Lt. Hill’s dad said. 

Mark and his wife, Susan, want to remind others that when a first responder is on the road, so is their entire family and they don’t want anyone else to grieve like they did when they lost their son. 

So, Tuesday, firefighters took the opportunity to teach children and parents about their firetruck, and Mark and Susan were able to talk about the 5-5-5 mission. It emphasizes that before you leave the house, make a plan for safety, consider five ways to stay safe, and contact five loved ones every day. 

“These firemen have a family at home. And we want them to get back safely,” Susan added. 

To donate to the 5-5-5 Initiative or for more information, visit