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Jackson County Fire District 5 raises money through 'Fund the First' after Almeda Fire losses

The fire department lost a station and has suffered substantial damage because of the Almeda Fire.

Posted: Sep 22, 2020 3:23 PM
Updated: Sep 22, 2020 4:50 PM

PHOENIX, Ore. -- Jackson County Fire District 5 is facing heavy losses because of the Almeda fire. The agency's Station 3 is destroyed and the fire district's headquarters is damaged. A fire engine, vehicles, and firefighting gear were also damaged or destroyed by the fire.

"We suffered loss just like the community did," said FD5 Chief Hanley. 

Hanley set up a 'Fund the First' account to start bringing in money. It's a new way for first-responders to raise funds.

"Just so we can serve the community, because as these people were displaced they are moving back in now. So they will be in shelters, they will be in temporary housing and we still have to provide fire protection for those people," said Chief Hanley. 

"At Fund the First, we developed the first and only verified crowd funding platform for our first-responders and military," said Robert Garland. He is the CEO of Fund the First and works at the New York Police Department. He says this is a safe way for people to donate. People will know exactly who their money is going to.

"Well with something like this, everyone is going to relate to this. A fire department was wiped out because of these fires and now they can't necessarily support the people that support them," said Garland.

The fire department says the losses also include a 50 percent reduction in funding. This will impact employees and volunteers. People that donate to their 'Fund the First' account will help maintain fire protection in an area devastated, but still in the midst of a dangerous fire season.

"It's heartbreaking. Our folks grew up in this community. They have deep roots with their family and friends that were impacted. These are the people we serve every day," said Chief Hanley. 

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