Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade Spotlight on Brenton Ward

When local fire departments heard the American Red Cross needed help raising funds they stepped up to support the efforts again. This year increased need has exhausted the disaster response budget so their efforts are much needed. Local firefighters and American Red Cross volunteers have partnered together to ask the community to “invest in the positive” at the Firefighter’s Bucket Brigade for the American  Red Cross – TODAY!  Thursday, May 26, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. These dedicated partners, that support their neighbors in times of disaster, are partnering up to ask their community to be Heroes during this fundraiser.

We always want to know more about our heroes and partners so this year we are spotlighting supporting firefighters and  Red Cross Disaster volunteers. You might only see these partners together during a disaster response or during the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade for the American Red Cross so we are happy they  took the time to answer our questions.

Brenton Ward is the Manager of Public Relations/Public Education with the Suamico Fire Department and was kind enough to answer our questions. 

When did you know you wanted to be a firefighter? Since I was a little kid.

What do most people not know about your job? The amout of time, planning and coordination that goes into making PR/Pub Ed events a success.

What are you most proud of?  That is a hard question.  I would have to say my girlfriend Kim and her Son, Trent.  They put up a lot of time taken away by me doing this.

Why are you volunteering to participate in the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade? To give back to my community.

What have you learned about the Red Cross by working with them? Nice people, easy to work with.  They really do what ever they can to help people.

Who’s your Hero? And why? My Hero…..  Hmmmm….. That would have to be my Dad.  He has always been there and formed me to be the being I am today.

For more information and a list of Bucket Brigade locations across northeast Wisconsin, please visit http://www.newredcross.org.

Abrams Firefighter asks Northeast WI to Invest In the Positive

With the recent storms across the nation and an unprecedented number of local disasters, the American Red Cross needs financial support and Rick Race, Assistant Chief and Training Officer with the Abrams Fire Department, is one of many stepping up to help. Last year the local firefighter and the Abrams Fire Department joined the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade to Benefit the American Red Cross as several fire departments asked their neighbors to invest in the positive.

The Abrams Fire Department was the only fire department with a collection site at a gas station and they took advantage of their unique location by pumping gas to increase donations. This year Abrams Fire Department is offering its support again and so is Race.

He will be assisting both  WBAY’s Heartbreak to Hope Telethon on Tuesday, May 24 and The Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade to Benefit the American Red Cross on Thursday, May 26 in an effort to ask the community to come to the aid of the American Red Cross so it can ensure programs that help individuals and families in times of disaster are appropriately funded.

Last year, we asked the Abrams Firefighter a few questions to learn why he supported the important fundraiser. Race has been a volunteer fire fighter in Northeast Wisconsin for 14 years. The first ten were with the Village of Howard Fire Department and now he is with the town of Abrams Fire Department.

When did you know you wanted to be a firefighter?About 14 years ago, after talking to a friend about his experience with the Howard fire department.

What do most people not know about your job? The amount of hours of training it takes to be a volunteer fire fighter.

What are you most proud of? The fact fact that I give back to the community by being there when they need me. Also, the training we do in the local grade school.

Why are you volunteering to participate in the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade? The Red Cross is always there when we call for the victims and for us so its my way of giving back for all they do.

What have you learned about the Red Cross by working with them? That there is a lot more going on behind the scene than anyone knows. Like the amount of time the volunteers put in to help people they don’t even know.

Who’s your Hero? And why? My dad, For teaching me to be a person and helping when needed.

Watch for Rick Race on WBAY’s Heartbreak to Hope Telethon. You will also find Rick Race and our other heroes at  the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade for the American Red Cross on  May 26, 2011 – 4p.m.-7p.m.  

For more information and a list of Bucket Brigade locations across northeast Wisconsin, please visit http://www.newredcross.org.



Invest in the positive. Indulge in helping others

Partners Investing in the Positive

On Thursday, May 27, supporters of the Red Cross Lakeland Chapter demonstrated that community really means being there for each other. Local heroes partnered together in the first ever Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade for the Red Cross, which was a part of the Heroes fund raising campaign.

Our heroes from the following fire departments supported the Red Cross Lakeland Chapter in the Bucket Brigade: Abrams, Ashwaubenon, Green Bay, Bellevue, De Pere, Howard, Suamico, and Pulaski. Austin Straubel Public Safety and 911 Dispatch also pitched in to help. These heroes together with Emergency Services Director, Judy Gregory, and the Lakeland Chapter Disaster Action Team raised over $5,700.

 

The Red Cross is always there when we call for the victims and for us so it’s my way of giving back for all they do,” says Assistant Chief Rick Race from the town of Abrams Fire Department.

Fire fighters from the many participating departments along with Red Cross volunteers were stationed at several locations in Brown and Oconto County to collect donations and talk about their partnership. Fire fighters brought a fire truck to each location for an inside peak at the technology and apparatus used to save lives. Volunteers worked hard to raise awareness of the fundraising efforts. Fire fighters from the town of Abrams even pumped peoples gas for a donation.

Nancy Mirhashemi, Red Cross Volunteer, says she saw a great deal of foot traffic on the beautiful day. “People have been very generous.”

For Karli Piper, one of the volunteers from Brown County Public Safety Communications Center, it was an opportunity to help out and spend time with her daughter. “I like to be out in the community as much as possible.”

“Public education and safety is at the heart of what we do.” Lt. Dave Walters, of Austin Straubel Public Safety, says their primary responsibility is to be available for commercial operations for aircraft but they also serve many functions as a fire department. This event was an opportunity to work with other departments and agencies while engaging with the community to spread the word on an important cause.

Red Cross disaster relief focuses on enabling individuals and families affected by disaster to independently resume their normal daily activities by meeting their emergency disaster-caused needs. When a disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, clothing, food, and health and mental health services to address basic human needs. The Red Cross also feeds emergency workers, handles inquiries from concerned family members outside the disaster area, provides blood and blood products to hospitals treating disaster victims, and helps those affected by disaster to access other available resources.

“I believe in The Red Cross; I think they do wonderful things for people,” says Linda Safford. As a volunteer from Brown County Public Safety Communications Center she hopes to be back next year. “We just all give a little part and make it successful.”

All of us together make a great team. We really do,” says Linda Safford.