Department Profile: Year in Review

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

From rebuilding houses to providing rehab, Fire Corps programs accomplished a lot in 2012. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from the past year. Click here to submit a profile of your program.

  • Texas Fire Corps State Advocate Jeanie Fossati rounded -up volunteers and helped rebuild the home of volunteer firefighter Missy Zdroj on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. A crew of over 3,000 worked 24-hour shifts for one week to rebuild the home that was lost during the Bastrop wildfire. Volunteers also gave the Heart of Pines Volunteer Fire Department a makeover. Along with a remodel, the department received needed equipment, gear, and training scholarships.
  • The Linn County Fire Corps program, run by the Lebanon Fire District in Oregon, is largely composed of former trauma intervention volunteers. Volunteers work three 12-hour shifts a month and specialize in providing emotional support for community members and first responders. They respond to fires, accidents, medical emergencies, and other traumatic incidents to listen and provide assistance and services to those dealing with a tragedy or traumatic event.
  • On Fire for Faith Fire Corps is a lifesaving ministry that provides support to local fire departments, prevention education, and training. The program is based in Eastern Ohio but has no geographical boundaries. On Fire for Faith (FFC) is made up of volunteers recruited from church groups, youth leadership programs, organizations, and government entities. FFC is a vehicle that allows the average citizen to provide support to the fire service while outreaching to the community. Husband and wife team Candice and Travis McDonald head the FFC while three program coordinators (all 100% volunteer) have been assigned to carry out the overall goals of the program.
  • The Layton Fire Corps program in Utah has recruited the help of local sixth-grade students in spreading the message of fire safety. Volunteers realized that the sixth-grade students were out-growing the prevention programs and decided to create a Junior Fire Corps group so they could use their knowledge to teach younger children. The sixth-graders helped to develop a home and fire safety skit aimed at educating preschool-aged children.
  • The Goodyear Fire Department in Arizona started its Fire Corps program two years ago after a round of layoffs due to budget cuts. The 11 volunteers' work ranges from administrative duties to support services, conducting school and public education, organizing and assisting at community events, helping residents install child-safety seats, and doing CPR training. Volunteers have put in about 4,000 combined hours since the program started, saving the city almost $79,000.
  • Winner of the 2012 Fire Corps Award of Excellence, the Green Valley Fire District (AZ) and its Fire Corps team have made major inroads to relieve the firefighting staff of their lesser essential duties so that they are now more available for emergency calls, training and study, equipment and vehicle maintenance, and other critical functions. Last year alone, the Fire Corps logged 9,200 hours of work. This represents the equivalent of almost five full-time paid positions to perform the responsibilities now taken care of by the Fire Corps. The value of this contribution is estimated to be a minimum of $185,000 based on the suggested value of volunteer work.
  • Decked out in official gear supplied by donations, Fire Corps volunteers from the Oak Creek (CO) Fire/Rescue District respond to calls to assist with firefighter rehab and refilling air bottles. The team has its own rehab truck known as Squad 8-1. Squad 8-1 is outfitted to meet the needs of first responders, carrying water, Gatorade, energy bars, a compressor for refilling bottles, and secondary rescue gear for accident victim vehicle extraction. Volunteers also provide manpower and logistics management at a variety local events including fishing derbies, fairs, and festivals. They have been certified by the state as flaggers for traffic control, and each volunteer is certified in CPR.
  • Founded in 2010, Albemarle County Fire Corps volunteers assist the Albemarle County (VA) Fire Rescue in a variety of ways, including family support, fundraising, special event planning, graphic design, and assisting with Fire/EMS training activities. Volunteers also work to promote fire prevention and safety within the community, including organizing community events in honor of Fire Prevention Week. In 2012, volunteers worked with their department to organize and host three separate outreach events with assistance from local businesses.
  • The Oklahoma City Fire Corps has logged over 700 hours in training and public outreach disaster preparedness/fire safety education in the last year alone. Formed in 2007 in response to the call for community involvement after Hurricane Katrina, the program assisted the Oklahoma City Fire Department and has 16 highly trained volunteer members with varying backgrounds. Before joining the program, each member must first graduate from the Oklahoma City Fire Department Citizen Fire Academy (CFA).  This eight-week academy provides members with an excellent foundation on which to build their volunteer involvement. 
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