Did you know September is Firefighter Appreciation Month? With firefighters in California still hard at work battling the Dixie and Caldor fires, today’s Feel Good Friday is a great time to talk about the California Fire Foundation.Formed in 1987 by California Professional Firefighters, the California Fire Foundation “provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters and the communities they protect.”
Their programs cover four main categories:
- Community Improvement – public safety and educational resources are provided through the Firefighters On Your Side program. Materials include information on how to prepare for wildfires, how make a 5-minute evacuation plan and other helpful guidance.
- Victim Assistance - firefighters throughout California distribute $250 gift cards to eligible victims of fire or other natural disaster as part of the Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program. People can then use those gift cards to purchase basic necessities such as medicine, food or clothing. In 2018, more than $2.6 million in gift cards was distributed to people affected by the Camp fire.
- Firefighters and Their Families – the Foundation supplies emergency support to departments and families of firefighters killed in the line of duty, including college scholarships for children of fallen firefighters. They also provide grants to individuals who demonstrate financial hardship so they can take the required physical and written tests needed to become a firefighter.
- California Firefighters Memorial - every year, at the memorial to fallen firefighters in Sacramento, the Foundation holds a ceremony to commemorate the bravery of those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
If you want to make sure you’re prepared in the event of a fire, check out this fire safety education page. To support the California Fire Foundation and the people they support, shop for merch, make a donation and amplify their work by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @CAFireFound and Instagram @calfirefound.