SAVE Offers Immediate Aid to Victims of Catastrophic Loss

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Firefighters Can Extend a Helping Hand in an Emergency—During a news conference Feb. 26, West Sacramento Fire Chief Rick Martinez spoke about the SAVE emergency aid gift cards available to assist victims of fires or disasters. The California Fire Foundation has partnered with 40 fire departments across the state to implement the SAVE program.

When first responders answer the call in a fire or disaster, the job doesn’t end when the fire is out. Many times, firefighters wind up comforting families that have suffered a great loss. Firefighters always wish they could do more. Now they can.

Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) allows local firefighters to give on-the-spot aid to families and individuals who suffer substantial property loss in a fire or a major disaster. Created and funded by the non-profit California Fire Foundation, SAVE provides departments with Mastercard SAVE cards that can be activated at the scene.

“As firefighters, we often have the sad duty to be with people on the worst day of their lives,” said Lou Paulson, chair of the California Fire Foundation and a retired Contra Costa firefighter. “By offering SAVE cards to those who have lost so much, firefighters are able to help people take the first step toward rebuilding their lives.”

The West Sacramento Fire Department is among 40 departments statewide to join the SAVE partnership. “This is a very simple, but effective action to help relieve people in a disaster,” said West Sacramento Fire Chief Rick Martinez. “Our firefighters already make a difference by virtue of the risks they take on the job. I’m proud to have our city participate in this effort and appreciate the California Fire Foundation for stepping forward with this creative partnership.” Other Central Valley fire departments participating in SAVE include the Sacramento City Fire Dept., the Sacramento Metro Fire Dept., the Cosumnes Fire Dept., and the Folsom Fire Dept.

The California Fire Foundation is a 501©(3) non-profit foundation. Most of the donations to the Foundation come from California firefighters themselves. Corporate support for SAVE comes from a grant from Chevron. No taxpayer dollars are used.

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