WEST FORKS — One firefighter cried when he called Donna Neddeau to schedule a free whitewater rafting trip for the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Another couldn’t go on the complimentary trip but called the rafting company owner just to thank her.

It took a week for Neddeau and her husband, Dave, to give away 150 whitewater rafting trips on the Kennebec River to first responders and their families. The couple owns Magic Falls and Magic Rivers rafting companies, about a 1½-hour drive from Waterville and an hour from Skowhegan on U.S. Route 201.

Though it will cost them up to $8,000 to give the free rafting rides to firefighters, medical personnel and military members, “I just wanted to do something,” Donna Neddeau said. “It’s time we paid back some of them that have done things for us.”

If people can’t make it on Sept. 11, some can still receive a reduced rate on other days, Neddeau said, noting that the companies always offer a 20 percent discount for military personnel.

First responders from several states, including New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, have scheduled the free runs. In addition, people across Maine are scheduled to be there, including some from Raymond, Vienna, Gardiner and Winslow, she said.

The base facility has a campground, a lodge and a guest house where people can stay the night. In addition to rafting trips, the companies offer a recreation pavilion, an outdoor climbing wall, a volleyball court, a basketball court, tubing and shower and changing facilities.

The two companies typically have up to 150 rafting trips per day in the peak summer months, Neddeau said.

Magic Falls and Magic Rivers rafting companies may be reached at 800-207-7238 or www.magicfalls.com.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Erin Rhoda can be contacted at 612-2368 or at: [email protected]