Our Mission at the Fire & EMS fund is to provide a political voice to the many great Fire & EMS personnel who bravely serve our communities. These fine men and women often put their lives on the line to protect their fellow citizens but are often left out of the political discussion in this country. We work to change that through a grassroots effort meant to empower these communities and advocate for their needs. As a grassroots organization we believe success begins at the local level and believe that can be accomplished through helping citizens make an impact at the ballot box, raising awareness on the issues to local officials, and engaging the public on local issues which affect them and their communities.
Help First Responders Make Their Case
Citizen engagement is one of the most effective ways that we can advance the causes of our Fire & EMS communities. Through raising awareness and educating the public on key legislative cases in the country, we can effect change through the ballot box to equip Fire & EMS personnel with the tools they need. Some key causes we’re currently looking at are:
- Increasing Pay & Benefits for Wildland Firefighters
- Increasing Entry Pay for EMS Workers
- Providing Better Benefits to Volunteer Firefighters
There are countless resources needed for firefighters and first responders to effectively do their jobs protecting our communities. But more often than not, they are competing against countless other services for a piece of the public budget. Whether responding to fires or medical emergencies, these frontline workers need advocates to help effectively acquire critical resources. Whether it be access to training, better equipment, or medical care, one of our missions is to help first responders make their case for the things they need.
Raise Awareness of Firefighter Needs to Elected Officials
Firefighting is an inherently dangerous job. We all know that. But behind the obvious risks of running into a burning building are the protracted long term risks firefighters face both physically and mentally performing such a high stress, dangerous job. One of our missions is to raise awareness among elected officials about the long-term health needs of our nation’s firefighters. These include:
- High Rate of Heart Disease Among Firefighters
- Mental Health Diagnosis & Treatment
- Presumptive Cancer Coverage for Career Firefighters
One of the issues that often goes overlooked in the public discourse is the physical and mental health of firefighters. These issues are not always given top priority by public officials. Every single day, firefighters go to work facing dangerous situations which often take a long term toll on the physical and mental health of firefighters. It is imperative that public officials understand how fire department budgets work, and the risks posed when budgets do not reflect these needs of firefighters.
Engaging the Public on Local Issues Involving Firefighters
Firefighting is a local service funded by local budgets using local taxpayer revenue. Although the federal government offers limited grant money each year to departments nationwide, it is not enough to provide everyone what they need. Year after year, and especially in the Covid-19 Era, local funding is reaching a near crisis for many cities and towns struggling to pay for fire & emergency services. Engaging the public on the localized nature of fire funding is essential in maintaining effective levels of operations in their communities. Issues we are currently addressing related to local budgetary issues include:
- How Reduced Budgets Negatively Impact Firefighter Retention
- How Budget Shortages Have Created Underequipped and Unsafe Departments
- How Federal Grants Work to Supplement Local Budgets
Fire departments are funded by local budgets and sometimes supplemented by federal aid. But the local nature of most fire budgets means that local citizens must get involved to advocate on behalf of their local fire houses. To ensure the safety of firefighters and the communities they serve, local citizens need to get involved in securing proper firehouse equipment and updated personal protective equipment that works safely and efficiently.