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Fire Family Foundation Established to Support California Firefighters and Their Families.

Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union Members and Staff Donate Time and Resources so that 100% of Donations Will Pass Through to Beneficiaries

LOS ANGELES -- Fire Family Foundation, the first of its kind in California, will help firefighters and their families in times of crisis, fund firefighter training programs, provide firefighting equipment to fire departments around the state, and support other firefighter-focused charities, announced Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union (LAFCU), which set up the foundation through volunteer members and staff and will similarly manage the Foundation so that 100% of donations will pass through to beneficiaries.

"Finally we will have a way of directing funds to California firefighters and the departments they serve on a consistent, organized basis," said Pat Engel, Battalion Chief of the Los Angeles City Fire Department and LAFCU Board of Director. "Fire Family Foundation will provide what no one in California does -- the framework for the public to support firefighters and their families in times of need and provide much needed and significant equipment to small or underfunded departments so they can protect the public through safe and effective programs."

"Firefighters go into life or death situations as a daily routine and become a family that relies on each other in life and death situations. Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union is a financial cooperative made up of members of this family, and as such we support our fire family as a core business principle," said Michael Mastro, CEO of LAFCU. "We support multiple fire charities and have set up special accounts for the families of fallen firefighters in the past, and in the aftermath of 9-11 we raised funds to provide relief. Fire Family Foundation formalizes these efforts as a permanent support system to our California firefighters."

Volunteer members and staff provided hundreds of hours of work and expertise at no cost to establish the nonprofit so that the public could benefit from tax-deductible donations and firefighters and their departments could benefit from stable and ongoing support from the community. Many people may be aware of families of firefighters that need help, or of the challenges of firefighters of small or underfunded fire departments, but in the past there has not been an organized way for the public to donate to these needs. As an established nonprofit, Fire Family Foundation can turn individual efforts into ongoing support for firefighters, and can procure regular corporate sponsors as well.

Firefighters themselves are some of the biggest supporters of such efforts. "Small fire departments can't always afford the equipment they need to run safely and effectively," says Battalion Chief Engel. "We might be able to buy a defibrillator or other equipment for a rural fire department that can't afford one, for example. Fire Family Foundation will also enable firefighters to systematically support each other in this way."

Fire Family Foundation is a non-profit 501(3)(c) corporation established in Los Angeles for the purpose of supporting firefighters, their families, and departments. Tax deductible contributions may be sent to Fire Family Foundation, c/o Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union, 815 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90041. Contributors may also call 800-231-1626 ext. 2272 for more information, or visit www.firefamilyfoundation.org.

Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union was formed by Los Angeles city firefighters in 1935 at the height of the Great Depression to provide firefighters a secure financial environment through a cooperative. Today LAFCU is a professional full-service financial institution with over 24,000 members, approximately $800 million in assets, and is one of the strongest, most stable financial institutions in the United States. LAFCU is proud to exclusively serve firefighters and their families in the state of California.

For more information about this news release, Fire Family Foundation, or Los Angeles Firemen's Credit Union, contact Dixie Abramian, VP of Marketing, LAFCU at 323-216-6467 or dabramian@lafirecu.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 24, 2007
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