Fireman’s Fund Finalizes $1 Million Commitment to San Diego County Firefighters

November 16, 2004

Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (FFIC) has fulfilled a $1 million pledge to the firefighting community in San Diego County for equipment, fire prevention tools, firefighter training and community fire safety education.

During a lunchtime ceremony this week, the company awarded 15 grants, totaling $200,000, to area fire departments and announced the winners of an online “Call to Action” that ran on 11 Clear Channel radio station Web sites in San Diego County. The awards are the result of a $1 million commitment FFIC made to the region last April through its long-term philanthropic mission, Fireman’s Fund Heritage(SM), which supports firefighters for safer communities.

“We chose San Diego County as the first region to participate in Fireman’s Fund Heritage based on the firefighting needs in the region and because of our company’s strong local base of employees and agents,” said Darryl Siry, FFIC vice president and executive director of Fireman’s Fund Heritage. “We’re proud to be contributing toward the needs of San Diego and its firefighters.”

FFIC is awarding grants to 15 paid and volunteer fire departments. In late September, the company issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to all fire departments in the County, offering them the opportunity to request a grant. These proposals were then evaluated by a group of local FFIC employees who determined the final grant recipients.

The grants include: $5,000 to the Deer Springs Fire Protection District for radio communications equipment, $14,000 to help build a fire station for the De Luz Volunteer Fire Department and $50,000 to the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District for the creation of a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) module focused on the wildland/urban interface area.

One grant totaling $13,600 will benefit the entire region. The Carlsbad Fire Department received funding for confined space communications and rescue equipment. This equipment will help the department upgrade to “Heavy Rescue” state certification, enabling it to rescue victims trapped in confined spaces or under heavy rubble. Prior to this award, no other fire department in San Diego County had the equipment to meet this level of certification.

Following is a list of all grant recipients:

— Boulevard Fire & Rescue Dept. Inc., Boulevard, Calif. – $7,600 for radio communications equipment

— Campo Fire and Rescue Dept. Campo, Calif. – $11,400 for radio communications equipment

— Carlsbad Fire Dept. Carlsbad, Calif. – $13,600 for confined space communications and rescue equipment

— De Luz Volunteer Fire Dept. Fallbrook, Calif. – $14,000 for building materials to remodel a local building into a fire station

— Deer Springs Fire Protection District, Escondido, Calif. – $5,000 for radio communications equipment

— Encinitas Fire Dept., Encinitas, Calif. – $6,000 for fire shelters

— Imperial Beach Fire Dept., Imperial Beach, Calif. – $12,824 for a trailer and equipment for the department’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

— Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District, Julian, Calif. – $8,750 for structural turnout gear

— La Mesa Fire Dept., La Mesa, Calif. – $7,680 for fire shelters

— Lemon Grove Fire Dept., Lemon Grove, Calif. – $6,475 for wildland firefighter protective gear

— Mount Laguna Volunteer Fire Dept. Inc., Mount Laguna, Calif. – $20,000 for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)

— Oceanside Fire Dept., Oceanside, Calif. – $9,800 for a thermal imaging camera

— Ramona Fire Dept., Ramona, Calif. – $12,000 for a thermal imaging camera

— Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. – $50,000 to create a wildland/urban interface module for the national CERT program

— San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District, Spring Valley, Calif. – $14,872 for wildland protective gear

This is the second round of funding that FFIC has awarded to fire departments in San Diego County. In April 2004, FFIC awarded 16 grants totaling more than $500,000 through a similar process.

In addition to announcing grant recipients, FFIC and Clear Channel Communications also announced results of an online “Call to Action” launched in early October 2004. Through this online promotion with 11 Clear Channel radio stations in San Diego County, FFIC said in October that it would donate $50,000 to five fire departments based on listeners’ “votes.” For three weeks, listeners were urged to visit any of the 11 participating radio stations’ Web sites to take a short quiz on firefighter issues and to select their “favorite” paid and volunteer fire department.

The “votes” were compiled and evaluated relative to the population that each fire department served. Based on this criterion, two volunteer departments and three paid departments were declared the winners of $10,000 donations apiece. Donations were awarded to:

— Mount Laguna Volunteer Fire Dept., Mt. Laguna, Calif.

— San Pasqual Volunteer Fire Dept., Escondido, Calif.

— Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District, Julian, Calif.

— Alpine Fire Protection District, Alpine, Calif.

— Bonita Sunnyside Fire Protection District, Bonita, Calif.

The donations will go towards funding equipment, firefighter training and fire prevention activities.

FFIC’s commitment to San Diego County goes beyond grants and donations to fire departments. The company continues to work with the Burn Institute, a non-profit health agency dedicated to reducing burn injuries and deaths through fire and burn prevention education, burn survivor support programs and the funding of burn care research and treatment.

Since launching Fireman’s Fund Heritage in San Diego last April, FFIC has supported a number of Burn Institute initiatives including two public education inserts focused on wildfire and fire and burn prevention in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the annual Firefighters Night at the Padres, the Burn Run/Fire Expo and new interactive components on the organization’s Web site — including a new online fire escape plan.

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