Skip to main content
Home » Disaster Prep and First Response » Meeting the Needs of America’s Unsung Heroes
Disaster Prep and First Response

Meeting the Needs of America’s Unsung Heroes

Photo: Courtesy of Birgit Lengert

Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Floods. Wildfires. When disasters strike, firefighters and EMS providers are there to answer the call, putting their lives on the line to protect their neighbors. In the aftermath, responders dedicate themselves to recovery and relief efforts to help their community get back on its feet. Yet often these responders have been impacted by the same disasters. Who is there to help them?

A dedicated support fund

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) launched the Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund in 2005 to assist volunteer firefighters and EMS providers whose homes have been damaged or lost in a federally- or state-declared disaster. The fund provides a stipend of $250 to help eligible volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel meet expenses in the wake of the disaster.

“People rely on emergency responders to be there in their time of need,” said NVFC Chair Kevin D. Quinn. “What many people don’t think about is that when a large-scale disaster strikes, responders are not immune. Even further, the majority of firefighters in the U.S. are volunteers, meaning they are donating their time and skills to help their communities. The Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund is a way to give back to these dedicated men and women when they need it most.”

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 also assisted volunteer first responders impacted by flooding, tornadoes, wildfires, Super Storm Sandy and other large-scale disasters. To date, more than $500,000 has been distributed to volunteer firefighters in need.

100 percent donations and distributions

The Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund relies entirely on donations from individuals, organizations and companies. 100 percent of the donations received go directly to help volunteer firefighters and EMTs impacted by a disaster. The NVFC donates all administrative costs associated with the fund.

With natural disasters, it is not if, but when they will strike. Help the NVFC continue to provide this important support to volunteer firefighters and EMS providers. Learn more and contribute to the Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund.

Kimberly Quiros, [email protected]

Next article