Auction of Historic Instruments Benefits Tennessee Fire Departments

Two years ago this month, torrential rains pounded down on Middle and West Tennessee resulting in heavy flooding of many counties throughout the state. Residents were devastated by the floods and some fire districts lacked the necessary equipment for rescue efforts.

NASH2O was organized shortly after these devastating May floodwaters receded by three longtime Music City mainstays: George Gruhn, widely-recognized as the leading authority on vintage stringed instruments; Joe Glaser, renowned luthier and fine instrument repairman and steel guitarist/producer Bruce Bouton, a fixture on high-profile recordings and tours for decades. Their goal was to collect flood-damaged instruments from top artists, which could then be sold as presentation/collector pieces. The group secured the support of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (Fireman's Fund), a major insurer of many of the affected artists.  Funds raised were to benefit local musicians affected by the flood and the Nashville area fire service.

As a result of the auction and an additional $10,000 grant by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company and Frost Specialty, two regional fire service organizations received a total of $36,000 in grants for water rescue equipment. Specifically, the Greater Nashville area received vital swift-water rescue gear and Stewart County Fire-Rescue will receive a boat specially designed for swift-water rescues on behalf of their region (Homeland Security District #7).


"We heard from firefighters that they did not have all the tools they needed to respond to the Nashville floods," said Lauren Bailey, Vice President of Entertainment at Fireman’s Fund. "Now these departments have the necessary water rescue equipment to help with future water emergencies – large and small. We also thank NASH20 and all those who purchased historic instruments online for supporting this initiative."

"Having the ability to respond to water emergencies quickly will help ensure the safety of our community," said Fire Chief Shannon, Execute & Operations Manager of the Nashville Office of Emergency Management and Assistant Fire Chief. "Looking back at the 2010 floods in Tennessee, this equipment is critical to our ability to work safely in the water and save lives."

On April 25th, the Office of Emergency Management, regional fire service officials, NASH20 leaders and executives and employees from Frost Specialty and Fireman’s Fund came together for a special public event where the grant package was officially presented.

"Frost Specialty is excited to participate in this project with NASH2O and Fireman’s Fund to assist fire and rescue departments with the purchase of much needed equipment, training and educational tools that will benefit the Nashville community," said Robert Frost, president and CEO of Frost Specialty.

The core philanthropic mission of Fireman’s Fund is to support local fire departments across the country. Since 2004, Fireman’s Fund has awarded grants to more than 1,800 different departments totaling more than $29 million. The money is used to provide needed equipment, training and educational tools to local fire departments. To learn more about the Fireman’s Fund grant program and other grants awarded, visit www.facebook.com/SupportingFirefighters, www.twitter.com/FFundHeritage and www.firemansfund.com/heritage.


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