Fireman’s Fund Unveils $500,000 Program to Improve Fire Safety, Prevention in Metro Atlanta

August 4, 2004

Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (FFIC) has launched a new program that will provide fire agencies in Metropolitan Atlanta with $500,000 in funding and donations for firefighting equipment, fire prevention tools, firefighter training and community fire safety education. Fireman’s Fund Heritage, the long-term philanthropic mission of FFIC, supports firefighters for safer communities.

There are three components to the Fireman’s Fund Heritage program in Metro Atlanta:

— A donation of 16 thermal imaging cameras to fully equip the City of Atlanta Fire Department with much needed life-saving technology.

— Grants totaling more than $305,000 awarded to 16 paid and volunteer fire departments from the Metro Atlanta area for needed equipment, public education, fire prevention and firefighter training.

— An alliance with the State of Georgia Fire Marshal’s Office to provide critical public education tools in the Metro Atlanta area. FFIC chose the Metro Atlanta area for the Fireman’s Fund Heritage program based on the firefighting needs in the area and because of the company’s strong local base of employees and agents. The area is the second community in the nation to participate in this national initiative, which ties to the company’s founding social mission from 1863. Fireman’s Fund Heritage was launched in San Diego County, Calif., earlier this year.

Firefighters and rescue workers across the country are reportedly facing increased demand for their services as a result of population growth and new responsibilities, including emergency medical services.

At the same time, fire departments reportedly face serious funding challenges that leave many volunteer and paid fire departments without the resources for adequate equipment or training. In the Metro Atlanta area, many of the departments are facing pressures as a result of an ever-growing population – the region is home to many of the fastest growing cities and counties in the country, according to U.S. Census reports.

To commemorate the launch, FFIC President and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Kavitsky and local executives presented the grant checks and donations to senior fire officials from throughout the region during a ceremony at the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum.

“The more than 4,800 employees of Fireman’s Fund are thrilled to offer support for local fire departments,” said Kavitsky. “Firefighters risk their lives daily to protect others. It is our hope that through Fireman’s Fund Heritage, communities will become safer.”

Donation to the City of Atlanta Fire Department

FFIC is donating 16 Evolution 5000 thermal imaging cameras manufactured by Mine Safety Appliances (MSA). The cameras have a total retail value of $197,000. The cameras allow firefighters to complete searches for victims in near-zero visibility conditions, in addition to sensing hidden fire that could rekindle.

Recent news reports have stated that thermal imaging cameras can reduce the time firefighters spend searching a building for victims from 15 to as little as two minutes. According to the National Fire Protection Association, only one-fourth of fire departments nationwide own thermal imaging cameras. Prior to the Fireman’s Fund donation, the Atlanta Fire Department had only two thermal imaging cameras to cover the entire city.

“The Atlanta Fire Department is elated to receive such a generous donation from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company,” said Atlanta Fire Department Chief Dennis Rubin. “Thanks to Fireman’s Fund, every ladder company and rescue squad within the department will have a thermal imaging camera. When fighting fire, we undoubtedly always want to have an imager on location to assist us with providing the best lifesaving services possible to the citizens of Atlanta and to firefighters who are down.”

Grant recipients

FFIC awarded grants totaling $305,084 to 16 paid and volunteer departments throughout the Metro Atlanta area. The following is a list of all grant recipients:

— Cherokee County

— Woodstock Fire Department, Woodstock, Ga. – $27,448 for extrication tools, commonly known as “Jaws of Life”

— Clayton County

— Jonesboro Volunteer Fire Department, Jonesboro, Ga. – $14,000 for turnout gear, the protective clothing worn by firefighters when responding to emergencies

— Morrow Fire Department, Morrow, Ga. – $21,000 for a thermal imaging camera

— Riverdale Fire Services, Riverdale, Ga. – $4,500 for a sprinkler demonstration trailer

— Cobb County

— Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services, Marietta, Ga. – $20,000 for lithium battery powered smoke detectors for high-risk residents

— Coweta County

— Newnan Fire Department, Newnan, Ga. – $23,065 for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for the department’s firefighters

— Douglas County

— Douglas County Fire Department, Douglasville, Ga. – $38,450 for two-way communications devices with motion and temperature sensing capabilities

— Fayette County

— Fayette County Department of Fire and Emergency Services, Fayetteville, Ga. – $12,200 for a thermal imaging camera

— Fayetteville Fire Department, Fayetteville, Ga. – $19,557 for radio communications equipment

— Fulton County

— Alpharetta Fire & Emergency Services Department, Alpharetta, Ga. – $25,000 for materials for the department’s public education program

— College Park Fire Department, College Park, Ga. – $30,000 for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for the department’s firefighters

— East Point Fire Department, East Point, Ga. – $10,716 for a fire extinguisher training simulator for firefighters

— Fulton County Fire Department, Atlanta, Ga. – $17,000 for fire safety program educational materials

— Roswell Fire & Rescue Department, Roswell, Ga. – $25,000 for fire safety program educational materials

— Union City Fire Department, Union City, Ga. – $10,678 for a thermal imaging camera

— Spalding County

— Griffin Fire Department, Griffin, Ga. – $6,870 for extrication tools

FFIC invited fire departments in 14 counties in the Metro Atlanta area to submit proposals for funding through a request for proposal released in June. A special task force of local FFIC employees evaluated the proposals and determined which departments would receive a portion of the dollars made available for funding. An outside advisory committee comprised of fire chiefs from the surrounding region provided technical advice to the employee task force.

“The 23 proposals we received totaling more than $800,000 demonstrated the enormous need for additional fire equipment and training in the Metro Atlanta area,” said Denise Lewis, human resources manager and Fireman’s Fund Heritage Atlanta Task Force Leader. “We are confident that our support of these departments will help make our neighborhoods and firefighters safer.”

Local FFIC employees will begin volunteer efforts to support fire departments in the area in early fall. Insurance agents who offer FFIC products in the greater Atlanta area also will be fully involved in future Fireman’s Fund Heritage activities to improve fire safety and prevention.

Alliance with the State of Georgia Fire Marshal

FFIC also announced an alliance with the State of Georgia Fire Marshal for Atlanta-area fire and burn prevention activities. As part of the alliance, FFIC will donate a mobile fire safety house and towing vehicle to supplement existing activities focused on educating the public about fire and burn prevention. The fire safety house is a “classroom on wheels” that fire educators use to teach children fire safety through role-playing exercises.

“I would like to thank Fireman’s Fund for their generous gift to my office and to the State of Georgia, said Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine. “The donation of a mobile fire safety house and towing vehicle will allow us to continue educating thousands of school children and teachers each year on the importance of fire safety. Programs like the Fire Safety House go a long way in saving the lives of Georgians each year. Fireman’s Fund’s commitment to being a good corporate citizen is an inspiration to us all.”

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.