In 2000, the Federal Way Fire Fighters Foundation (the Foundation) formed as a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Charitable Corporation. Members of the Foundation include all department members and their families. Being part of the emergency response to the community puts us in the unique position of seeing needs as they are happening and responding quickly once the initial emergency is over.
The Foundation concentrates on several areas of support to the community:
Local Emergency Response
The Foundation is ready to assist citizens in our community who have suffered a loss that Federal Way Fire Fighters have responded to. Short-term assistance may be available to fill in the gap until the Red Cross or other longer term assistance can take effect.
In 2000, two elderly women were offered shelter over a weekend for themselves and their pet until King County’s GateKeeper program could kick in.
After fighting the arson fire at the Federal Way Food Bank, firefighters collected and donated over seven pickup loads of food to replace most of the food that was damaged by the fire and smoke.
Foundation Members participated in several events, fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Northwest Burn Foundation, the Washington Council of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and several others. Our members spent hundreds of hours collecting more than $10,000 for these organizations. The Foundation also worked with other community organizations to raise money for the annual Food and Toy Drive. This year the kickoff for the Food and Toy Drive was the lighting of the community Christmas tree at SeaTac Mall. More than 100 families were provided with holiday gifts and food for what may have been an otherwise bleak holiday season.
Federal Way Fire History
Foundation members located and began restoration of the oldest fire engine that ever served the Federal Way Community. When restored, this old rig will be used in fundraising and to help raise the community’s awareness of fire safety. Originally stationed on 312th Street, this 1936 Ford served Mirror Lake and the surrounding areas for many years before being given to a newly-formed Duvall Fire Department in 1958 for the sum of one dollar. In 2000, Duvall firefighters returned the old fire engine to Federal Way Fire Fighters, who in turn returned Duvall’s dollar. Restoration of the fire engine is expected to take a few years, with assistance from others in the community.
Outreach to Other Firefighters
In 2000, the Foundation contributed to the families of firefighters killed in the line of duty in other parts of the United States. Although small sums were sent by our firefighters, donations by firefighters around the country added up to assist the families left behind.
Outreach to Firefighters in Other Countries
Upon finding out that firefighters in the Baja region of Mexico had very few air packs and were fighting fires without equipment or proper clothing, our Foundation members felt that something had to be done. Working with fire departments and equipment suppliers throughout our region, more than five tons of fire equipment and medical supplies were shipped to fire departments in Baja California.
Foundation members clean, repair and pack the equipment and clothing which is still serviceable, but simply no longer meet U.S. standards. Alaska Airlines donates cargo space to Cabo where firefighters there distribute the equipment to seven area fire departments.