The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and Fireman's Fund Insurance Company have selected eight fire departments to receive new thermal imaging cameras and three to receive other equipment from the "Into the Fire" grant program.
Eleven winners were chosen out of more than 1,249 proposals. The combined value of all grants is more than $90,000.
"The pure number of applications to this grant program show how desperate local fire departments are to get new thermal imagers," said Ron Siarnicki, executive director of the NFFF.
Each camera, valued at approximately $10,000, uses updated technology to enable firefighters to "see" through smoke and darkness to quickly locate anyone trapped in a building during a fire.
"Thermal imaging cameras are used every day around the country to find victims and save lives," said Danielle Cagan, Heritage program director at Fireman's Fund. "We are proud to be part of this program which is designed to make local communities safer."
"Into the Fire" Grant Winners are:
Lincoln (IL) Rural Fire Protection District, thermal imaging camera and $1,475 for new bailout bags;
Henderson (NC) Fire Department, thermal imaging camera;
Cresson (PA) Volunteer Fire Company, thermal imaging camera;
Rolling Oaks Volunteer Fire Department (Wills Point, Texas), thermal imaging camera;
Crystal Fire Co. No. 1 (German, Pennsylvania), thermal imaging camera;
Houston (MO) Rural Fire Association, thermal imaging camera;
Cutler Volunteer Fire Company (Camp Douglas, Wisconsin), thermal imaging camera;
Oolitic (IN) Volunteer Fire Department, $4,400 for new mounting equipment;
Clay (KY) Fire and Rescue, $2,210 for new AED;
Palmer Lake (CO) Volunteer Fire Department; $2,650 for new gas detector;and
Saluda County (SC) Fire Service, thermal imaging camera.
The grant program is funded by money raised from DVD sales, T-shirt sales, screening events, and other fundraising related to the "Into the Fire" documentary. DVDs can be purchased at www.firemansfund.com/heritage. Fireman's Fund donates $7 from each DVD sale to the fire service. Purchasers may elect to direct a portion of this amount ($5) to their local fire department via a drop-down menu organized by ZIP code. The remaining $2, or all $7 if no fire department designation is made, goes to the "Into the Fire" fund.