Novato-based has issued more than $26 million in grants in the past seven years for firefighting equipment and educational tools to departments all over the country, and the graciously accepted another one of those gifts on Thursday.
The district is looking to implement a reserve firefighter program and was in the market to purchase new gear that meets safety standards. So Fireman’s Fund stepped up and donated $10,750 to its crosstown district during a ceremony Thursday afternoon at Station 62 on Atherton Avenue.
“We are grateful for this donation, as it supports our Reserve Firefighter Program and enhances our ability to serve the community,” Fire Chief Marc Revere said.
District board members, fire personnel and Fireman’s Fund officials were on hand as the grant package was presented. Fireman’s Fund employees Laura Eipp and Tom Ryan nominated Novato Fire for the grant.
“I truly appreciate the work Novato Fire does to keep us all safe,” Eipp said. “I am honored to be able to direct this grant so those who risk their lives to keep our community safe have the proper equipment.”
Revere said it costs about $1,500 per firefighter for protective personal equipment that fends off flames. The grant will allow the district to buy six sets of jackets with high-tech coatings, helmets, gloves and pants. He said the life expectancy for such sets is about five years.
“We have no skin showing when we’re really in there fighting a fire, and the protection of those outfits is critical,” Revere said.
The reserve program, expected to start this summer, would be an extension of the Scout Explorer program that is already under way for young people about 15-20 years of age, the chief said. Having three to seven young reserves would help them learn about leadership and responsibility and can really help with future recruiting for full-time firefighters because “we can teach skills to local kids and have the opportunity to look at them develop for a long time,” Revere said.
Reserves could be called upon to be a fourth participant on a three-person engine company and would allow the district to participate in more community events without as much concern about personnel at such events when emergency calls come in, he said.
Fireman’s Fund, based at 777 San Marin Drive, is a property and casualty insurance company providing personal and commercial insurance products nationwide. It is a member of the Allianz Group, one of the world’s largest providers of insurance and financial services. For more information, visit www.firemansfund.com.
To visit Fireman’s Fund’s “Supporting Firefighters” Facebook page, go to facebook.com/SupportingFirefighters.