GREENBELT, MD (September 30, 2009) - The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), in partnership with the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, has selected 10 outstanding junior firefighter programs and Explorer Posts from departments nationwide to receive a $5,000 grant through the NVFC National Junior Firefighter Program. This is the second year that the program has honored ten exceptional junior firefighter programs with grants.
"We are very pleased to partner with the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation to provide grants to help fire departments further develop their junior firefighter programs," said NVFC Executive Director, Heather Schafer. "The 10 applicants selected by the Grant Review Committee stood out as exemplary junior firefighter programs that are making a positive impact in their communities. These departments are truly dedicated to preparing the future of the fire and emergency services - our youth."
The competitive grant process drew applications from junior firefighter programs and Explorer Posts across the country. Recipients were selected based on program innovation, community impact, and financial need, among other criteria.
"We are thrilled to partner with the National Volunteer Fire Council to provide 10 fire departments throughout the country with the additional resources they need to prepare the next generation of fire service leaders," said Stephan Shelton, a Dunkin' Donuts franchisee and co-chair of the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation.
The NVFC and the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation wish to thank every junior firefighter program and Explorer Post who applied for the grants. The 10 recipients of the grants in alphabetical order are as follows:
Atlantic Highlands (NJ) Volunteer Fire Department
The Atlantic Highlands Volunteer Fire Department Junior Firefighting Program is designed to give young adults, ages 15-21, the hands-on opportunity (with safety restrictions) to learn about firefighting. Juniors are taught the values and rewards of community involvement as well as teamwork skills that can be applied to all aspects of life. The program uses pagers to alert junior firefighters to a call so that they experience the true on-call nature of firefighting. Approximately 75 percent of the program's graduates continue in the fire service.
Bellevue (TX) Volunteer Fire Department
Explorers in the Bellevue Volunteer Fire Department Explorer Post participate in structural and wildland fire training, medical training, and career development. The Post was created to provide education and career opportunities to Bellevue High School students. The department works with the high school for an annual recruitment campaign to get more youth involved as junior firefighters.
Boys Town (NE) Fire Department
The Village of Boys Town, NE, is headquarters of the national organization Boys Town, an integrated program that instills leadership, responsibility, and service in high-risk youth. With help from adult administrators, all community leadership positions are held by youth participating in the program. In addition to firefighting training, Boys Town Fire Department cadets go through a physical conditioning program where goals in running, push-ups, and sit-ups are increased through time, encouraging youth to set and achieve goals and learn discipline. Since 1970, over 600 teens have been enrolled in the program.