Thanks to your support, we have made great strides in our expansive effort to support the Denver Fire Department. Here are a few notable achievements.
Our most important accomplishment to date has been to save at least one life.
Health & Wellness Programs
Denver Fire Department Foundation raised funds to support a dedicated physical/occupational therapist. This program helps injured firefighters return to work within the safest, shortest amount of time possible. Physical therapy also helps firefighters with proactive programs to avoid injury.
Improving Communications & Access to Valuable Data
At the end of 2012, we received an award from the Department of Homeland Security/FEMAfor the purchase of 88 iPads, cases and Fire House inspection software. iPads are used by numerous fire departments throughout the U.S. and allow the firefighters to access to real-time information about the structures where they are fighting fires. Data includes any potential hazardous materials, live video feeds, and interactive discussions and evaluation of field situations. Tablets in the field also increase productivity and communications related to business and home business inspections and increase the the reliability of data entry.
New Protective Bunking Gear
In 2012 Denver Fire Department received a $42,000 FEMA grant for the purchase of protective gear. The multi-threat chemical protective suits are made from GORE CHEMPAK ultra-barrier fabric and are certified to NFPA 1994 Class 2 and NFPA 1992 for protection against chemical warfare agents as well as toxic industrial chemicals at concentrations at or above IDLH. The non-permeable membrane is laminated to a 4.5 ounce NOMEX IIIA outer shell, providing static dissipative performance and resist melting, dripping, and burning, and are safe for skin contact, washable, and re-usable.
Heart Scans for 300 Firefighters
To date, our most important accomplishment has been to save at least one life. Most people think that firefighters' biggest death threats are fires and collapsing buildings. While fires are certainly dangerous this is not accurate. Studies by Harvard researchers and others demonstrate that heart disease kills more on-duty firefighters than anything else. Over the last 30 years it's been shown that 45% of firefighters' on-duty deaths come from heart disease.
Early in 2007, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company donated $50,000 to the Denver Fire Department Foundation to sponsor the pilot program of this initiative, in which 300 Denver Firefighters received an Electron Beam Tomography (EBT) scans of the heart and vascular system, Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT) analysis, as well as lipid testing. Of these 300 scans, only sixty-five were negative for evidence of plaque. This is an indication that 75% of those firefighters who participated in the pilot program have some evidence of coronary artery disease. Pilot program participants were directed to a course of action that ranged from a change in diet, exercise, and medication, to one firefighter that was rushed for an emergency angioplasty that no doubt saved his life.
Protective Bunking Gear For 263 Firefighters
Denver Fire Department Foundation recently secured a grant for $225,000 from the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA for new bunking gear for 263 Denver firefighters. Prior to receiving the FEMA/DHS grant 263 Denver firefighters were wearing older, less advanced protective gear. As a result, on-scene commanders had to concern themselves with whether or not firefighters on the scene were adequately protected as well as equally protected.
Fire Prevention Education for 50,400 Students
The Denver Fire Department Foundation spearheaded collaboration between the Denver Fire Department, the Mile High Chapter of the Red Cross and the Denver Firefighters Museum for public education, and coordinated the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA grant of $55,000 for this project.
During the 2008-09 school year, these three groups traveled to 84 Denver Public Schools elementary classrooms, teaching fire prevention to over 10,400 students. During the 2009-10 school year, these three groups traveled to over 50 Denver Public Schools elementary classrooms, teaching fire prevention to over 50,400 students.
Exercise Equipment & Fire Station Quality of Life
To date, the Denver Fire Department Foundation has redirected 16 pieces of exercise equipment from the Denver Athletic Club, 1-2-3 Fit, individual donors and the Denver Parks and Recreation Department to fire stations totaling $68,600.
The Denver Fire Department Foundation secured a total of $25,000 in donations from Wells Fargo, Fireman’s Fund and an anonymous donor to provide exercise equipment for 15 Denver fire stations.
We have gathered a range of items and construction materials to refurbish fire stations and improve quality of life for Denver's firefighters, including twenty hotel rooms full of furniture from the Denver Renaissance Hotel, and new couches, recliners, ice machines and office furniture from the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
In 2007, the Denver Fire Department Foundation sponsored a screening of “Into the Fire” at the Denver Convention Center. This powerful film showcases the courage and sacrifice of firefighters across the country. Mayor Hickenlooper introduced the film as more than 400 people filled the Wells Fargo Theater. That evening, attendees and sponsors donated more than $32,000 to support our mission.
In 2009, our first annual Fore Fire golf tournament elevated awareness and raised more than $10,000.