Engines of Community Safety
Once every 24 seconds, a fire department responds to an alarm somewhere in the United States. You might think those departments are paid for by the government, but in fact, about two-thirds of them are all-volunteer.
Most are also underfunded. That means many of the firefighters who risk their lives every day to protect people, property and pets are doing their jobs with outdated or otherwise inadequate equipment.
Georgia-Pacific launched its Bucket Brigade program to help support local fire departments and the brave men and women who strive to keep our communities safe.
Fighting Fire with Funds
Since 2006, the Bucket Brigade program has contributed more than $2 million to fire departments in communities within 30 miles of a Georgia-Pacific facility through cash grants as well as educational materials and National Volunteer Fire Council memberships, which all grant applicants receive.
Cash grants are typically used to purchase new protective clothing like coats and boots and to replace damaged safety gear and aging equipment.
Grants are awarded yearly, with applications accepted in summer and awards announced in fall. Applications are reviewed by an independent board of civilians and firefighters. Winners are determined based on need, impact of the grant and the uniqueness of the submitted story.
As part of the Bucket Brigade program, Georgia-Pacific partnered with the Fire & Emergency Services’ Fire Safety Division of Cobb County, Georgia, to develop engaging educational materials for kids, teachers and parents. The fact is that many fires are started accidentally by children. What’s more, 23 of every 100 people who die in fires are kids. So teaching students of all ages about fire prevention and what to do in case of fire is paramount.
Anyone can download these materials, and any school or fire department in the country can request printed versions of the coloring book, workbook or bookmark by submitting a request to GPBucketBrigade@gapac.com.