Fireman's Fund To Award Grants To Fire Departments Damaged By Hurricane Katrina

Novato, CA - Fireman's Fund Insurance Company (Fireman's Fund) announced a new initiative to support fire departments rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Grants will be awarded to replace equipment and materials damaged by the storm and flooding. An advisory board comprised of representatives from the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Volunteer Fire Council and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, as well as other leaders in the fire service, will provide guidance on how to distribute the funds. Fireman's Fund committed $250,000 to start this effort, which will be supplemented by employees' local fundraising activities and contributions that will be matched by the company. These funds are in addition to the $1 million donation made to Hurricane Katrina relief programs by Allianz (NYSE: AZ), the parent company of Fireman's Fund.

The purpose of the long-term relief efforts spearheaded by Fireman's Fund is to help volunteer, combination and career fire departments rebuild and fully recover from the storm damage. Similar to residential homes and commercial buildings, many fire stations in the affected region suffered damage and lost valuable equipment. Although this damage is still being assessed, this program aims to fill the funding gap that may exist after insurance claims have been paid, federal aid has been received and other resources have been exhausted.

Members of the advisory committee include fire service leaders Ronny J. Coleman (former state fire marshal of California), Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder (Loveland-Symmes Fire Department, OH), Chief Jeff Meston (Novato, CA), Chief Dennis Rubin (Atlanta, GA), Heather Schafer (Washington, D.C.), Chief Ronald Jon Siarnicki (Emmitsburg, MD), Chief Larry Trujillo (Denver, CO) and Chief Bruce Varner (Santa Rosa, CA.). The advisory committee will also provide ongoing guidance for the Fireman's Fund HeritageSM program.

The company's support of fire departments affected by Hurricane Katrina is expected to go well beyond the $250,000 commitment. For the remainder of this year and into 2006, a portion of future grants nominated by Fireman's Fund employees through the Fireman's Fund HeritageSM program will go to the rebuilding efforts of individual fire departments based in the Gulf. Employees also plan to conduct localized fundraising efforts in support of this cause, and the proceeds will be matched by Fireman's Fund.

In addition to this program, Fireman's Fund has announced that it is providing a series of recovery services to its current customers and agents who were affected by the recent hurricanes in the Gulf. These services, which will be provided free of charge, include trauma counseling, identity theft prevention and restoration and personalized assistance in coping with the practical and emotional effects of the hurricanes. Additionally, Fireman's Fund is treating homeowners' property damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as one event for purposes of calculating the deductible on losses. As a result, Fireman's Fund homeowner policyholders who suffered damage from both storms will not need to worry about having multiple deductibles applied to their claim settlements.

Fireman's Fund is making funding for the fire service available through its long-term corporate philanthropy program, Fireman's Fund Heritage, which supports firefighters for safer communities. Through this program, Fireman's Fund employees and independent agents can direct grants to, and volunteer at, local fire departments, national firefighter organizations and fire and burn prevention non-profit organizations. Grants are awarded for the purchase of equipment, fire prevention tools, firefighter training, fire safety education and community emergency response programs. Since the start of the program in 2004, Fireman's Fund has donated several million dollars to support the fire service.

Fire departments interested in learning more about this funding can call (866) 440-8716, send an email to or visit

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