Written by Phil Cerroni
Though undeniably nurtured and cared for by an entire community, at its core the Fire Foundation’s beating heart is that of the men and women of the fire department; who by their own sweat, time and energy, out of duty and sacrifice, bear the weight of a city upon themselves so that we may continue to lead our lives well, unaware of the cost silently exuded on our behalf.
Guardians who ask not accolade or award, who devote countless hours learning to fight tragedy and terror in hand-to-hand combat without backing down; warriors who know the intricacies of restarting a beating heart, of breathing air into a baby's lungs, of washing the blood off their boots as they rush to the next scene of need... these are the men in whose honor the Foundation was built; and Irving is the city that the Foundation stands by, with these men, as we join in avenues of service.
What began as a tribute to men of valor has grown into an instrument by which those same men compassionately and humbly respond to our city. Advocates of education, one of the most demonstrative ways chosen to exemplify this was by honoring the spirit by which their own children have been provided scholarship opportunities thanks to the generosity of supporters; and in almost a tithe offering response choose to advance scholarship opportunities to all children of City of Irving employees through the Math and Science Award Program launched in 2012.
With a commitment to supporting families following a tragedy, the Foundation launched the MayDay fund providing compassionate aid to firefighter families following a line-of-duty death or injury. The next phase of this program launches this spring as the Phoenix Project which provides avenues whereby our firefighters may assist residents facing stressful challenges and stark need following a devastating fire or other emergency situation as they revive hope and begin anew.
Focused on connecting our sentinels in the station with the families they serve in the community the foundation launched community engagement activities encouraging one-on-one relationship building. Residents enjoyed activities alongside the men and their own families through unique activities including Hero Rush, family night out at the ball park, station dinners, birthday parties for the kids, and for adults the Tilted Kilt with a breathtaking, tear jerking, standing ovation presentation by the City of Irving Fire Honor Guard, and an old favorite the Firefighters Ball to name but a few.
Our vigilant first responders and board members have nurtured the communities investment in the Foundation into a strong organization that is equipped and able to identify catalytic projects in which to further that investment, respond appropriately to needs in our community, and synergize the virtues we hold dear as a society and cling tight to as cornerstones of healthy communities; commitment, honor, duty, valor, humility, and compassionate service.
Join us in 2013!
Source: Irving Fire Foundation