During the past four years, more than 1,100 different fire departments have benefited from the insurance company's grant money. Donations average $20,000, but can range from $5,000 to more than $100,000. Grants are issued, in part, to fill the voids left by growing budget cuts.
"This is a program that has a direct impact in helping local fire departments, big and small, all across the country," said Mike LaRocco, president and chief executive officer. "The equipment purchased with our grant money not only makes communities safer, it has literally saved lives, and that's what we're most proud of."
The $20 million mark was passed this week in Heath, Texas. The city's department of public safety received a $10,000 grant for a new high-tech educational robot used to teach children how to protect themselves from fires and other dangers in their community.
Fireman's Fund employees and its network of independent agents work together to identify specific needs and direct grants to local fire departments. Grant money is frequently used to purchase auto extrication gear, thermal imaging cameras, defibrillators, fire safety houses for children, and a variety of other equipment.
Additionally, the company has supported national fire service programs by providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in matching funds for the International Association of Fire Chiefs-led "National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System," the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation's "Everyone Goes Home" campaign and the National Volunteer Fire Council's "Heart Healthy Initiative."
Because of the unique scope and impact of this initiative, the Heritage Program at Fireman's Fund was honored with two distinct awards in 2008 - the American Business Award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program in the nation and the International Business Award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program in North America.
Fireman's Fund's commitment to the fire service stems back to 1863, when the company was founded with a mission to donate a percentage of its profits to the fire service. This commitment was renewed in 2004 with the launch of the Heritage Program at Fireman's Fund.
About Fireman's Fund
Fireman's Fund Insurance Company is a premier property and casualty insurance company providing personal, commercial and specialty insurance products nationwide. Fireman's Fund is a member of the Allianz Group (NYSE: AZ), one of the world's largest providers of insurance and other financial services. For more information, visit www.firemansfund.com.