How you can donate to firefighters fighting fires near Yakima an - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

How you can donate to firefighters fighting fires near Yakima and in WA

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YAKIMA, WA - The following is a release issued by Jeff Pfaff, PIO for the Yakima Fire Department.

The Yakima Fire Department has been receiving many calls and requests from the general public asking what they can do to assist the firefighters fighting the fires near the Yakima area and around the WA State.

In the time of need, our community members are great in offering water, snacks, and goods for local fires and it is more than appreciated since most fire departments cannot afford to provide that for their crews. When these fires go to State Mobilization or are considered a larger fire with a National Incident Management Team, these organizations have established contracts for supplies (Water, food, showers, medical, etc.) to care for the firefighters that are working the incident. It is a pre-negotiated contract that is called upon when needed.

The components of a these fire responses:
IA or Initial Attack - those firefighters can be on the line for up to 72 hours, typically State Mobilization is requested which brings in resources from outside the area to relieve exhausted local resources and support the firefighting efforts. Each of those resources (firefighters) are required to pack for a 14 day deployment, clothing, tent, medications if needed etc.
An example of a thoughtful recent donation: A pallet of toothbrushes and socks being donated to those fighting the fires. Unfortunately that amount is not needed, and we really want the public's hard earned money to all be used for true needs and efficiently.

The community support to help these men and women fighting the fires is overwhelming and unannounced supplies or goodies can create another logistical problem, finding a place to store truck loads of goods, potential for spoiling or contamination, donation of something that is not needed, all requiring pulling personnel from the fire to manage.

We have also been asked if a local restaurant can donate meals to the firefighters on the line. Once again it is appreciated, but they actually have a meal plan with specific requirements, calorie intake and such to keep them energized, but also controlling the food for potential issues associated food such as food temperatures etc.

Another component to these fire, especially in the rural areas like the Jolly Mountain Fire and Norse Peak Fire, these fire departments are volunteer, their members have jobs to be at or even own businesses in the affected area that is losing revenue due to these fires or does not have the budget to support the fire fighting efforts.

Let's not forget our Law Enforcement Officers in these areas that are critical in assisting with blocking the roads, going door to door evacuating residents, keeping people out allowing firefighters to work without having non essential people in the fire areas.

People have a difficult time giving money because they feel it is not personal enough or they feel it would not go to what it was intended for.

A monetary donation does much more than goods which sometimes can be overwhelming. A monetary donation allows that fire district to purchase goods, support their community by purchasing local goods from the business that also have been affected by the fire. "A monetary donation really does help that community support each other to get exactly what they need." says Jeff Pfaff, YFD PIO.

I have been in contact with the local fire departments affected by these fires and have been given permission to share their information with you for people wishing to donate.

Jolly Mountain Fire - Kittitas County Fire District 7:
Kittitas County Fire & Rescue
123 E 1st St.
Cle Elum, WA.

Norse Peak Fire and American Fire:
Nile Clifdell - Yakima County Fire District 14
14550 U.S. Highway 410
Naches, WA. 98937

Additional larger scale Fire based organizations that assist Firefighters after a disaster:

International Association of Fire Fighters Disaster Relief Operations

How did the Fund assist IAFF members during the past years?
· After hurricanes Charley, Francis, Ivan and Jeanne caused widespread damage in 2004; the Fund disbursed more than $215,000 to 347 IAFF members in Florida and Alabama who were displaced by the storms. After hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005, the Fund disbursed more than $1,750,000 to IAFF members in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida who were displaced by the storms. Additionally the IAFF assisted over 45 local affiliates and their 5,000 members in the disaster area, and provided incident command staff, communications, evacuation, food, medicine (including vaccinations and baseline medical evaluations), behavioral health and counseling, building materials, crews fro house repairs, transportation, and housing support. The Fund provided over $500,000 for these efforts. During 2008, the Fund provided $96,000 in disaster relief, most to members after hurricane Ike. In 2010, $24,500 has been provided, most to flood and tornado events. In 2011, $43,000 has been provided to date.

Washington State Council of Firefighters Burn Foundation: supporting burn victims and firefighters that sustain burn injuries in WA State.
Article on USFS Firefighter Dan Lyon, that sustained severe burn injuries in 2015 that killed three firefighters in Eastern WA, supported by the Burn Foundation.

If you wish to give to your local department, please contact them to see what you can do to help support your fire department.

If you need additional information feel free to contact Jeff Pfaff - YFD PIO at 509-728-2317