(NEW YORK -12/11/12) Every day, volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel put their lives on the line to protect their communities, but what happens when the tragedy strikes home? Many first responders are impacted each year by disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and others. These men and women dedicate themselves to serving their communities. When their homes and families are affected by tragedy, they rely on the community to give back.
The National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund provides a stipend of $250 to volunteer first responders whose homes have been impacted by a large-scale disaster. The stipend helps these firefighters and emergency personnel meet their basic needs in the aftermath of the disaster. However, the requests received in the wake of Super Storm Sandy exceeded the availability of funds.
The Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY) has stepped up to support first responders in need by awarding a grant of $50,000 to the NVFC Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund. FASNY joins the NVFC in asking others to help support the fund. According to FASNY Director to the NVFC, David Jacobowitz, there are many unfunded requests currently awaiting donations. Help these first responders in need by contributing to the NVFC Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund.
“To date, the NVFC Volunteer Firefighter Support fund has helped over a hundred volunteer firefighters impacted by Sandy, totaling over $31,000 in donations,” said FASNY President Jim Burns. “FASNY felt that it was important to replenish the funds in order to help more volunteers that need support after the storm.”
“We are grateful for FASNY’s generous contribution and are thrilled to be able to continue helping volunteers who have been struck by a devastating tragedy such as Super Storm Sandy,” said NVFC Executive Director Heather Schafer. “These volunteers need assistance to get back on their feet. We hope FASNY’s contribution will inspire others to give as well so we can keep providing support to those who protect their communities every day.”
The Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund was created in response to the devastation caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Since then, the fund has assisted volunteer first responders impacted by flooding in New York and along the Mississippi River, tornadoes in different parts of the country, and other large-scale disasters. So far, over half a million dollars have been distributed to volunteer firefighters in need.
To qualify for assistance, individuals must be from an NVFC member state as an individual or department member of the state association; be an active volunteer firefighter, rescue worker, or EMS provider; live or have housing in a state- or federally-declared disaster area; and have incurred an uninsurable loss in excess of $5,000.
The fund relies entirely on the support of individuals and organizations to assist volunteer first responders in need. The NVFC donates all administrative costs associated with the fund, so 100% of contributions go to help volunteer first responders impacted by disaster.
To make your contribution to the Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund please visit www.nvfc.org.