Look around an emergency scene and you’ll notice a sense of organized chaos. Firefighters work to put out the flames, while police officers help secure the area and paramedics tend to the victims. In our area, you will also observe a team of volunteers working to support these first responders and help victims get back on their feet.
The CCFR Community Assistance Program (also known as REHAB-95 — a nickname derived from their signature red SUV) was started by a retired CCFR firefighter in 2015. Since then, nearly 40 volunteers have donated hundreds of hours to the community.
Volunteers for the program are there to help everyone on the scene. They provide victims with immediate assistance including clothing, food, shelter and one night in a hotel, along with connecting them to important community resources.
“There are many cases when a family loses everything in a house fire. This team of volunteers provides help right there on scene to help them start the recovery process,” CCFR Assistant Chief Steve Brown says.
The volunteers assist first responders by providing canteen service, which includes water, coffee, snacks and, in some cases, meals.
“There are times when we are on the scene for hours at a time,” Brown says. “The Community Assistance Program’s canteen services help fuel our first responders and keep their energy up as they handle the situation. They are also an important resource for community members during their time of need.”
The team also helps provide victims and first responders with relief from the outside elements. During the summer they set up cooling stations with shade, fans and iced towels and in the winter their shelters, portable heaters and other supplies provide a break from the cold.
The Community Assistance Program is made possible through the generous support of community donations and volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering with or donating to the program, please contact Mark Runge at [email protected]
REHAB-95 2019 Highlights
- Provided canteen services to 500+ first responders
- Assisted 14 local residents in need after house fires
- Volunteered at 17 community and District events
- Moved into the old CCFR Fire Station #5 on Ehlmann Road
- Received 501(c)3 nonprofit organization status