The Los Angeles County Fire Department will now be able to lend residents a helping hand after disaster strikes, Fire Chief Daryl Osby announced Thursday, Dec. 10, in a news conference.
The Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program, developed by the California Fire Foundation, allows firefighters to give on-the-spot aid to families and individuals who suffer substantial property loss in a fire or major disaster, such as an earthquake or flood. The families can use the $100 MasterCard gift card to purchase a meal, clothing or other necessities.
“As a fire chief and a firefighter also, I’m very proud to be associated with the SAVE program,” Chief Osby said. “When you think about the core values of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, two in particular are commitment and caring. And this program that assists our citizens in their most urgent time of need demonstrates our firefighters’ commitment to help our citizens. It also shows their caring attitude.”
Dave Gillotte, the president of Los Angeles County Firefighters Local 1014, expressed similar feelings.
“The people that we protect are our friends and our families and our neighbors, and we count them as such,” Gillotte said. “We’re there when things go bad. We know what to do to fix it in the instant matter, but what happens immediately after that can be key in the rebuilding of somebody’s life. The SAVE program … can bring that support through the SAVE cards—economic assistance right on the scene.”
LACoFD and the Los Angeles City Fire Department, which also announced its participation in the SAVE program at Thursday’s news conference, join more than 60 fire departments across California in the SAVE program.
“We are so proud to be able put this tool in our toolbox, to be able to help people in need after the emergency has ended and at the very starting point of their rebuilding,” Gillotte said.
The SAVE program is completely funded by donations, many from firefighters themselves, as well as a grant from Chevron and other corporations. No taxpayer dollars are used.
Slideshow: Fire Chief Daryl Osby, Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas, Local 1014 President Dave Gillotte, Local 112 President Frank Lima and Lou Paulson of the California Fire Foundation host a news conference regarding the SAVE program. Photos by Douglas G. Morrison.