Two Local Companies Join Forces to Implement Unique Program For Central County Fire & Rescue Community
Family photos, high school diplomas and treasured mementoes are only a few of the things victims of home fires hope to salvage after the flames are under control. But, once the family salvages these items what do they do with them while their home is unlivable, and open to elements of the outdoors? With the help of the community, firefighters of Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) have created a unique solution, the Community Outreach Trailer.
"After the fire is extinguished the Community Outreach Trailer is delivered to the site of the family's home. Inside are all of the bags, boxes and plastic tubs they need to store items that survived the fire," explains Chief Russ Mason. "The trailer remains at the site of the home and serves as temporary storage for the family until a permanent location is found, and homeowners are given a set of keys so they have full access to their belongings. Once they find permanent storage the trailer is cleaned and ready for the next family who may need it."
The idea for the trailer was sparked after the department responded to a large house fire several years ago. "The only things the family asked us to save, if at all possible, were the family photo albums. As we stacked the damp, smoke stained albums on the front lawn the problem was evident. Where do we put them now? The family had no home, no garage, all that was left was their two cars," remembers Mason.
Over the past few years the CCFR Community Outreach Team has been working to make the idea of the trailer a reality. The team met with professionals in the disaster recovery field to create plans for the unique concept and then two local businesses stepped up to manufacture the trailer.
Rich Johns and Marty Fowler of Action Services, a local remediation and recovery company, and CJF Construction joined forces to build the trailer. The two companies acquired a trailer, asked Wicked Stickers to design and install the graphic wrapping, and stocked the unit with supplies.
"Now when one of our homeowners suffers a tragic loss due to fire or some other disaster all we have to do is call Action Service and one of their employees will respond to pick up the trailer, and deliver it to the incident site as quickly as possible," says Mason. "We are extremely grateful for the help from our local businesses to be able to provide this service to the community."