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Bend Fire and Rescue needs your help to help others

KTVZ

The Bend Fire and Rescue Community Assistance program was created by the Bend Firefighters Association in 2002, and has helped many in the community in times of crisis. Now, it could use your help to keep on giving.

“Firefighters are empowered, when they see an immediate need, to assist that person with Tylenol for a kid, a jacket in cold weather, a taxi ride to the hospital,” Bend Fire Battalion Chief Dave Howe said Friday.

The program provides immediate assistance to people who are already being served by fire crews and medics.

“The good thing about it is it empowers the firefighters to act directly on their observations, funneling generous donations from our community into that effort,” Howe said.

This program was developed to help bridge the gap between emergency services and social services in our community.

“We all get in this profession because we want to help people,” said engineer paramedic Jim Thurston. “It’s a great reward to be able to help people outside of that scope of practice, either medically, on a fire call, or in a fire.”

In fact, since the program started, with seed money provided by Bright Wood Corporation, the department has helped more than 300 individuals and their families.

“Ultimately, that’s why we go into this job is to help people through hard times and help in a time of need, so that always tugs on the heart strings little bit. So that’s always a good thing,” Thurston said.

And now they need your help, to help provide that one-time, emergency assistance. You can call the Bend Fire Department at 541-322-6306.

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KTVZ News Team

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