By Ann Fowler
Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr recently announced the creation of the Austin Fire Foundation, which will support the Austin Fire Department (AFD) community outreach and public education efforts.
Chief Kerr said at a news conference, “It’s really hard to balance a budget with the cost of a human life. … The things that always seem to get pushed to the bottom of the priority list are those that help the community help themselves be safer. We created the Austin Fire Foundation to do just that.”
Local grocery chain H-E-B donated $25,000 to the fund, and Scott Safety, maker of firefighter safety equipment, donated $6,500.
Said Chief Kerr, “I wanted to create … a foundation that would allow us to provide community engagement and not have to fight for budget dollars for that community outreach and to make our community safer.”
Nine-nine percent of donated funds will go into the community to help with safety items such as smoke alarms, fire safe security bars, children’s bicycle helmets, and baby-safe programs.
“We plan to collaborate with our fellow public safety agencies as well, with Austin/Travis County EMS as well as the Austin Police Department, in helping our community help us keep them safe,” said Chief Kerr. “I believe that we’re probably one of the few, if not the first major fire department in the country, to create such a foundation for such a purpose.”
Community members and businesses are invited to make tax-free donations to the foundation. For further information, contact Michelle DeCrane at 512-974-0151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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