Fundraiser set May 21, 2015 for Orland Fire Foundation

Fundraiser set May 21, 2015 for Orland Fire Protection District Foundation

Orland Fire Protection DIstrict Trustee Jayne Schirmacher

Orland Fire Protection District Trustee Jayne Schirmacher

The Orland Fire Protection District Foundation will hold its 3rd annual Fundraiser on Thursday, May 21, to raise monies for a wide range of programs and services for District residents.

This year, the OFPD Foundation will award three scholarships to graduating high school seniors college pursuing careers in firefighting and Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
Each year since 2013, the OFPD Foundation has donated money to underwrite programs that include providing Knox Boxes to Seniors, offering public CPR and Emergency response training, supporting the annual children’s fire and life safety camp, and donating to other fire-related charitable needs.
“All of these programs help raise public awareness of emergency safety issues and support important community causes,” said Patricia Brucki, who serves as the Foundation’s volunteer coordinator.
The Knox Box is a home security system that allows firefighters to enter homes in response to emergency calls when the homeowner may not be able to respond or open the door.
The OFPD Foundation provides support to purchase Knox Boxes  on loan to senior citizens and individuals who are disabled.
“Every senior should have a Knox Box to ensure that emergency first responders can enter their homes with out damage if for some reason they can’t open the doors themselves,” Brucki said.
OFPD recruits given rigorous training in emergency fire simulations

OFPD recruits given rigorous training in emergency fire simulations

“Many seniors have them now but many more are needed. The money we raise from the generosity of the public helps us purchase the Knox Boxes and loan them to seniors.”

Brucki said that the Foundation will announce the first three scholarship recipients at the foundation event which will feature cocktails and appetizers on Thursday May 21 at the 94 West Grille & Tavern, 15410 S. 94th Avenue. The event begins at 6 pm.
“The scholarships are intended to continue an honorable legacy to encourage students to pursue careers in firefighting and in emergency medical services,” Brucki said. “We will award three at the event, each in the amount of $1,000.”
Additionally, Brucki said that money raised at the Foundation’s annual dinner will also help underwrite the annual Kids Fire & Life Safety Camp. Each year, about 40 to 50 young people attend the week-long camp to learn how to recognize and respond to emergency situations. It also teaches young people about the dangers of fire and how to contact emergency personnel in an emergency situation. Among the sponsors and instructors at the camp is Bear Paddle.
“The children learn about home safety, basic safety and first aid safety skills, as well as finding safety during weather-related emergencies,” Brucki said.
“The children get to practice some of the things firefighters do with firefighters who volunteer to educate the children. The students get to compete in an abbreviated combat challenge similar to what fire fighters run in training scenarios.  Students get to meet the comfort dogs, compete in Game show style safety reviews, and train with current OFPD cadets. Brucki noted that many of the safety programs are supervised by Public Safety Coordinator Betsy Dine.
Last year, the Foundation also donated money to the family of Wes Peak, a firefighter who died in an automobile accident last September.
Foundation funds are also donated to support the OFPD Community Care Program which provides CPR instructions to members of the pubic, and also training in how to use AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators). AEDs can increase the chances of survival for victims of heart related emergencies.  Business owners are encouraged to contact the fire department to schedule trainings for their staff. Two of the program instructors are retired OFPD Engineer Robert Palermo and Chris smith.
Entertainment will be provided by Donny O and Rhonda Lee. Tickets are $50 per person and can be purchased at the Fire District, at the door on the evening of the fundraiser, or online at
“Individuals who bring a bag of canned food that will be donated to the Orland Pantry will get two tickets for the price of one,” Brucki said. “Last year we collected 50 bags of food that were given to the Orland Pantry, which helps families in need.”
Other Foundation members and volunteers include Fire Trustees: Jayne Schirmacher, Board President Jim Hickey, Senior advisory council members Diana Husband, Mane Pritza, and Pete Stoncius, and retired and active Fire District personnel including R.J. Stachnik, Gerry Strunka, Joan Pickens, Bob Palermo, Chief Ken Brucki, and Stephanie Koenig. Community members include Janette Walsh, Jerry Ruggio, Fire District attorney Jim Roche.
A raffle will offer prizes including a 60 inch screen TV, play tickets, $500 cash.  Other prizes include sporting tickets, jewelry, gifts from Vera Bradley, and donated services from Uncle Julio’s,  Texas Roadhouse, Giordano’s, Orland bakery, and Q spa. Unique prizes include rides on a fire truck, dinners at the fire house, and fire-themed bag sets.
To learn more, get tickets, or to make a donation visit


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