Terrytown, La., firefighters given money for pagers


Copyright 2006 The Times-Picayune Publishing Company 

Fireman's fund gives $15,328 to department
 
By BRIAN FRIEDMAN
Times-Picayune (New Orleans) 

The Terrytown Fifth District Volunteer Fire Department recently got a much-needed boost in its post-Katrina recovery efforts from the Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.

The department received a check for $15,328.50 from the insurance company during a ceremony at the department's fire station on March 15. The gift, which will be used to buy new pagers and chargers to replace those lost in the storm, is part of the Fireman's Fund Heritage program, a corporate philanthropy initiative "created in response to the funding challenges that have left many volunteer and career fire departments without adequate resources," according to a press release issued by the California-based insurance company.

"We're in desperate need of pagers," said Robert Masson, the department's deputy fire chief and public information officer. "We lost a number of them due to the hurricane."

The pagers, Masson said, "are the only way of really alerting (TVFD firefighters) that we have an emergency. They're set off at their house or on their side, and the dispatcher tells them exactly what the call is, what engines are dispatched, what the cross streets are, and they can respond in their own vehicle or go to the station and get on the trucks. It's something every fire department needs."

The fire department was nominated for the grant by Fireman's Fund employees Kim Ortiz in the Dallas field office and Kathy Williams in New Orleans as part of the Fireman's Fund Heritage "Bucket Brigade" program, in which employees can direct grants to fire departments and nonprofit organizations in their communities, according to the press release.

"The Fireman's Fund Heritage program provides employees like us an opportunity to make a difference for the firefighters who are helping to rebuild our community," said Williams, also an underwriting assistant.

The grant is one of 14 Bucket Brigade grants the company is awarding in the first quarter of 2006, and is the first to be awarded to a Louisiana fire department, Masson said.

Fire service organizations wishing to get involved in the Fireman's Fund Heritage program can fill out a survey at www.firemansfund.com/heritage

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