Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (FFIC) of Novato, Calif. today announced more than $1 million in funding and donations for firefighting equipment, fire prevention tools, firefighter training and community fire safety education throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay Area is the third metropolitan area to receive grants and donations through Fireman’s Fund Heritage, the long-term philanthropic mission of FFIC, which supports firefighters for safer communities.
There are three components to the Fireman’s Fund Heritage program in the Bay Area:
— Grants for fire departments – FFIC is awarding 32 individual grants and in-kind donations totaling $925,000. This funding will impact more than 90 fire departments in the Bay Area, specifically in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. A request for proposal (RFP) was issued in September 2004 to solicit grant requests from fire departments in these counties.
— Donations to Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Programs – FFIC is donating $100,000 each to the City of San Francisco Fire Dept.’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) and to the City of Oakland Fire Services Agency’s Citizens of Oakland Respond to Emergencies (CORE) program. These programs are often referred to as CERT in other communities. CERT programs provide members of the community with hands-on training in disaster and emergency response.
— Employee Volunteerism – FFIC employees will have opportunities to volunteer with local organizations focused on fire safety and emergency/disaster preparedness. In 2005, FFIC employees will volunteer with FireSafe Marin and the American Red Cross Bay Area to assist both organizations’ efforts to ensure community members are prepared in the event of an emergency.
Fireman’s Fund Heritage ties the company to its founding social mission. In 1863, FFIC was founded in San Francisco with a commitment to donate 10 percent of its profits to the widows and orphans of the city’s volunteer firefighters. Today, Fireman’s Fund Heritage supports a wide variety of equipment, training and education needs.
FFIC chooses communities — large and small — for the Fireman’s Fund Heritage program based on the firefighting needs of the area and the company’s strong local base of employees and agents. Firefighters and rescue workers across the country are 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 face serious funding challenges that leave many volunteer and paid fire departments without the resources for adequate equipment or training. Fireman’s Fund Heritage was launched in San Diego County, Calif. and Atlanta, Ga., earlier this year.
To commemorate the launch, FFIC President and CEO Chuck Kavitsky and local executives presented grants and donations to senior fire officials from throughout the region during a ceremony at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.
“Last year, Fireman’s Fund decided that it was time to get back to our Heritage — supporting firefighters for safer communities,” said Kavitsky. “Our founders, including the many original directors of Fireman’s Fund who were volunteer firefighters, knew that supporting the fire service was not only good for the community but a sound business strategy. That is even truer today.”
FFIC is donating $100,000 each to the City of San Francisco Fire Department’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) and to the City of Oakland Fire Services Agency’s CORE (Citizens of Oakland Respond to Emergencies) program. Through this $200,000 donation, FFIC is helping these organizations further the goal of preparing the community for future emergencies.
CERT programs provide members of the community with hands-on training in disaster and emergency response. This training provides community members with basic emergency skills to respond independently or as an adjunct to municipal emergency services in the event of a disaster.
“The San Francisco Fire department is grateful for the generous donation provided by Fireman’s Fund,” said San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White. “The NERT program is a vital public education course that provides our citizens with the ability to protect themselves and their family in the event of a large scale disaster. Recent events have underscored the fact that disasters can come in many shapes and sizes, and are not, unfortunately, always acts of nature. The partnership we have forged with Fireman’s Fund and other private organizations in San Francisco ensures the vitality and longevity of the NERT program that has to date, prepared more than 11,000 residents and visitors.”
FFIC awarded 32 individual grants and in-kind donations totaling $925,000. The funding will impact more than 90 fire departments in the Bay Area, specifically in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. The following is a list of all grant recipients:
— Marin County – $147,000 in grants
— Marin County Fire Chiefs Association, grant will impact 13
fire agencies in Marin County, Calif. – $120,000 for a
standardized mapping database of the entire county,
including countywide response maps and centerline
— Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Dept., Muir Beach, Calif. –
$11,000 for firefighting equipment, specifically,
breathing kits, fire shelters, turnout gear sets and an
— Stinson Beach Fire Protection District, Stinson Beach,
Calif. – $16,000 for radio communications equipment
— Sonoma County – $153,000 in grants
— Cazadero Volunteer Fire Dept., Cazadero, Calif. – $5,350
for radio communications equipment
— Forestville Fire Protection District, Forestville, Calif.
– $16,550 for radio communications equipment, fire
shelters and a thermal imaging camera
— Russian River Fire Protection District, Guerneville,
Calif. – $6,750 for radio communications equipment
— Schell Vista Fire Protection District, Schell Vista,
Calif. – $27,550 in matching funds for Self Contained
Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and radio communications
— Sebastopol Fire Dept., Sebastopol, Calif. – $11,000 for a
thermal imaging camera
— Sonoma County Fire Chiefs Association, grant will impact
38 fire agencies in Sonoma County, Calif. – $40,800 for
radio communications equipment
— Windsor Fire Protection District, Windsor, Calif. –
$45,000 for radio communications equipment
— Napa County – $25,000 in in-kind donations
— American Canyon Fire Protection District, American Canyon,
Calif. – $25,000 in-kind donation to create fire
prevention materials for residents
— Alameda County – $80,557 in grants
— Alameda County Fire Chiefs Association, grant will impact
12 agencies in Alameda County, Calif. – $55,557 for a fire
safety house public education trailer
— East Bay Regional Park District, Oakland, Calif. – $25,000
to create critical fire weather database and notification
— Contra Costa County – $164,140 in grants
— Richmond Fire Dept., Richmond, Calif. – $40,970 for an
advanced rapid auto extrication device
— Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, Pleasant
Hill, Calif. – $39,805 for four thermal imaging cameras
and a “Wheel of Fire” public education device
— Moraga-Orinda Fire District, Orinda, Calif. – $25,000 for
a firefighting water supply tank for rural area
— Pinole Fire Dept., Pinole, Calif. – $28,350 for turnout
coats and pants
— East Contra Costa Fire Protection District, Brentwood,
Calif. – $30,015 for three thermal imaging cameras and
funding for the district’s firefighter wellness and
— Solano County – $55,303 in grants
— Fairfield Fire Dept., Fairfield, Calif. – $7,266 for “911”
educational materials for school children
— Vacaville Fire Dept., Vacaville, Calif. – $9,132 for
Sparky the Dog interactive robot for a public education
— Vallejo Fire Dept., Vallejo, Calif. – $38,905 for four
thermal imaging cameras
— Santa Clara County – $65,309 in grants
— Ormsby Volunteer Fire Dept., Los Gatos, Calif. – $3,475
for an automated external defibrillator (AED)
— San Jose Fire Dept., San Jose, Calif. – $33,835 for two
thermal imaging cameras and public education materials for
the department’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT),
San Jose Prepared
— South Santa Clara County Fire District, Morgan Hill,
Calif. – $28,000 for portable radios
— San Mateo County – $234,691 in grants
— Central County Fire Dept., Burlingame, Calif. – $6,500 for
community smoke alarm installation program
— Half Moon Bay Fire Protection District, Half Moon Bay,
Calif. – $15,550 for radio communications equipment
— La Honda Fire Brigade and Kings Mountain Volunteer Fire
Dept., La Honda, Calif. – $17,880 for radio communications
— Menlo Park Fire Protection District, Menlo Park, Calif. –
$22,200 for two thermal imaging cameras
— Redwood City Fire Dept., Redwood City, Calif. – $59,371
for fire shelters and equipment for the department’s Water
and Safety Rescue program
— San Mateo Fire Dept., San Mateo, Calif. – $46,900 for two
thermal imaging cameras and an auto pulse device
— South San Francisco Fire Dept., South San Francisco,
Calif. – $48,000 for a fire safety house public education
— Woodside Fire Protection District, Redwood City Fire Dept.
and South County Fire Authority, San Mateo County, Calif.
– $18,290 for equipment to create a chipping program in
the wildland/urban interface
FFIC invited fire departments in the Bay Area to submit proposals for funding through a Request for Proposal (RFP) issued in September. 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 55 proposals we received, totaling more than $2.4 million, demonstrated the enormous need for additional fire equipment and training in the Bay Area,” said Chris Seistrup, FFIC Field vice president and Fireman’s Fund Heritage Bay Area Task Force leader. “We are confident that our support of these departments will help make our neighborhoods and firefighters safer.”
“The grants and donations Fireman’s Fund is awarding today are tremendous,” added Chief Jeff Meston of the Novato Fire Dept. “I’ve had the opportunity to serve as an advisor to this program and I know that this company has true intentions and plans to make today’s awards the first step towards a long-term relationship with the fire service in the Bay Area.”
Local FFIC employees will begin volunteer efforts to support fire departments in the area beginning in 2005. The independent insurance agents who offer FFIC insurance products and services in the Bay Area also will be involved in future Fireman’s Fund Heritage activities to improve fire safety and prevention.
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