Study Reveals U.S. Firefighters Face Critical Equipment and Training Shortages
“firedogSM Across America” Contest Challenges Communities to Win Funds for Their Local Firehouses
Richmond, Va. – A recent study from the U.S. Fire Administration, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, reveals that many firehouses across the U.S. lack adequate funding for some of the most essential firefighting tools.
Among the greatest needs are communications equipment, protective gear and training. To call attention to the many ways firefighters contribute to their communities and to help promote awareness of their long list of needs, Circuit City’s new firedogSM services brand recently launched “firedogSM Across America” – http://web.firedog.com/acrossamerica. The national online essay contest invites Americans to nominate their local firefighters for outstanding service and the chance to win $550,000 in much needed donations.
“Firefighters risk their lives everyday to protect us. However, as the U.S. Fire Administration study indicates, many firehouses are in serious need of additional resources,” said Peter C. Weedfald, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Circuit City Stores, Inc. “Through ‘firedogSM Across America,’ we hope not only to demonstrate our appreciation for firefighters’ dedicated service, but also promote awareness across the country of their equipment and training needs.”
The 2006 U.S. Fire Administration study — “Four Years Later – A Second Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service” — was co-authored by the National Fire Protection Agency. Based on responses from more than 15,000 firehouses nationwide, the results indicate a serious need in the areas of equipment and training. Findings indicate that an estimated:
• 65 percent of fire departments do not have enough portable radios to equip all emergency responders on a shift.
• 60 percent of fire departments do not have enough self-contained breathing apparatus to equip all firefighters on a shift.
• 66 percent of departments have at least some personal protective clothing that is at least 10 years old.
• 14 percent of departments protecting communities with populations less than 2,500 have no ladder/aerial apparatus but have at least one building four stories high or higher in the community.
• 36 percent of fire departments deliver emergency medical services (EMS), but have not provided formal EMS training to all involved personnel.
• 63 percent of fire departments involved in wildland firefighting have not provided formal training in those duties to all involved personnel.
The full needs assessment is available online through the U.S. Fire Administration at: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/grants/needs-assess2.shtm.
“With more than 1.1 million firefighters working in the United States, chances are that most Americans have benefited in some way from the dedicated services of their local firehouse,” Weedfald said. “By sharing their experiences with these everyday heroes through the ‘firedogSM Across America’ essay contest, Circuit City will ensure that 10 fire stations receive the additional funds they need to continue serving and protecting their communities.”
How “firedogSM Across America” works:
• December 6, 2006 – March 31, 2007: Americans are invited to submit essays at www.firedog.com that describe how their local firehouse or firefighters went above and beyond in helping them or their community.
• April 28, 2007 – The 10 winning essays will be announced. Each finalist firehouse will receive a prize of $20,000. The authors of each winning essay will receive a home “techover” valued at $10,000, courtesy of firedogSM.
• April 28, 2007 – May 13, 2007: Americans will be invited to vote at www.firedog.com for one story among the 10 finalists that most inspires them. For each vote received online, Circuit City will make a matching donation up to $250,000, to be distributed proportionally among the finalists based on the number of votes cast.
• May 14, 2007 – The firehouse with the most votes will be awarded a grand prize of $100,000.
The “firedogSM Across America” campaign has already lent a helping hand to firefighters with its recent contribution of $100,000 to the FDNY Foundation in New York City at a ceremony held Dec. 6 at the Ladder 3/Battalion 6 firehouse. As part of that campaign kick-off, Circuit
ity also donated $100,000 to the National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children’s Foundation. Additional information about “firedogSM Across America” is available online at: www.firedog.com.
Circuit City Stores, Inc. launched its firedogSM brand in response to a growing public demand for help with using and enjoying electronic products. firedogSM provides a new level of personal computer services, home theater installations and integration of home electronics.
About Circuit City Stores, Inc.
Circuit City Stores, Inc. (NYSE:CC) is a leading specialty retailer of consumer electronics and related services. The domestic segment operates through 645 Superstores and 12 other locations in 158 U.S. markets. The international segment operates through more than 800 retail stores and dealer outlets in Canada. Circuit City also operates Web sites at www.circuitcity.com, www.thesourcecc.ca and at www.firedog.com.