2018 Thomas Carr Community Service Awards

Oct. 1, 2019
Firehouse announces the newest honorees in the Thomas Carr Community Service Awards program.

The Firehouse Thomas Carr Community Service Award is designed to encourage fire departments to not only get involved in community service activities, but also to engage in activities that truly give back and elevate a community in a way that can change lives. Firehouse is proud to honor the following departments and individuals for their commitment to community.

1. Burton, SC, Fire District
Beaufort County, SC, School District

The JACOB Kit program is a collaboration between the Burton Fire District and the Beaufort School District to provide teachers with the training and the resources to treat life-threatening wounds until emergency crews arrive. The program was created by Firefighter/Paramedic Daniel Byrne (a Firehouse contributing editor) and his wife, Angela Byrne, a teacher, and it is named after Jacob Hall, a 6-year-old student wounded in a 2016 Townsville, SC, school shooting who survived the initial wound but died three days later due to massive blood loss. Jacob’s dream was to be a superhero and save lives and naming the program after Jacob, it emphasizes to schools, teachers, and parents the importance of having both the resources and knowledge to stop the bleed. The program has been 100 percent funded by local grants and donations making it a true community grassroots-driven and supported program. Since its inaugural implementation at Broad River Elementary School in 2017, the JACOB Kit program has spread throughout Beaufort County schools and all Beaufort County buildings. The Byrnes have also been assisting several schools, fire departments and emergency management divisions throughout the country start their own programs.

2. Major Steve Huff
Midwest City, OK, Fire Department

Steve Huff is the current director of the Community Relations Committee for the Midwest City Firefighters. When Huff responded to a call at a residence, he found less than appropriate living conditions for the resident and decided to help organize a remodel of the home. The remodel and renovation work, completed by current and retired firefighters, allowed the resident to have indoor plumbing for the kitchen. A common request for help is building access ramps to a home and when Huff was unable to find help for this project, he completed the work himself. Huff has used his carpentry skills that he developed before becoming a firefighter to help a number of citizens in the community.

3. Boise Fire Department Technical Rescue Team Boise, ID, Fire Department

The Boise Fire Department’s Technical Rescue Team has supported Courageous Kids Climbing for the last five years, giving children with special needs the opportunity to experience rock climbing first-hand. Firefighters set up a rope haul system and take the children out of the horizontal world and give them the chance to experience the vertical world of climbing and it allows them to experience what it is like to work like a firefighter. During the event, firefighters provide personal tours of their apparatus, allowing legally blind children to touch various tools and equipment to help them create an image of the item in their mind. Firefighters also use this event to let the children know that firefighters are there to help them.

4. Edward Bird
San Francisco Fire Department

Paramedic Eddy Bird and his wife, Shino, began coordinating Homebrewed Beerfest fundraising events for various causes and charitable organizations, including hospice facilities, dog rescues and the fight against cancer. The events have created funding to sponsor six City College of San Francisco paramedic students and send 23 child burn survivors to attend the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation’s Camp Champ. In 2018, Bird organized a group of volunteers to address the growing problem of hypodermic needles littering the streets and they removed more than 5 gallons of contaminated needles from the downtown area streets alone.

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Firehouse Staff

Content written and created by Firehouse Magazine editors. 

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