WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO
The Fort Bend Helping Heroes Charity began in 2011 as a reunion page on a social media site. The purpose of this group was to promote the upcoming 40th anniversary of service to the citizens of Fort Bend County by the Fort Bend County Emergency Medical Service. The reunion group promoted and fostered cooperation, fraternalism, harmony, and effective communication among present and past first responders of Fort Bend County EMS, administrative staff, and local government. The reunion group page was effective in reaching out to many of those who served this great community over the past 40 years. The anniversary celebration was a huge success. Friendships were rekindled, and the fraternal bond grew stronger among those who wore the uniform.
Through consistent and real time communication via the reunion group, the members saw a need among its members. FBC EMS first responders suffered losses from the wild fires of central Texas and flooding. Injury and illness were taking a toll on our first responder family as well. Fundraisers were organized by family members and close friends. First responders began helping other first responders. Talk of organizing and establishing a charity for FBC EMS past and present employees to assist in times of emergencies, natural disaster, injury and illness began to gain momentum.
On August 26th 2017, Hurricane Harvey, a category 4 hurricane made landfall on San Jose Island just east of Rockport. Two days prior, the county Judge ordered all essential personnel to report to duty and this includes the personnel of FBC EMS. Mandated to remain at their post until the crisis was over, EMS personnel remained on duty for up to 7 days. Their families would have to fend for themselves. The flood was devastating. The group worked closely with the Administration of FBC EMS to identify 11 of our local heroes who suffered the most from the hurricane. The Reunion Group rallied together, as well as the rest of the nation to assist our community and surrounding 50 counties. Through donations and distribution of t-shirts and challenge coins, the reunion group raised a total of $6,800, in addition to collecting bottled water, clothing, children’s toys, and food items in hopes of alleviating some of their financial burden.
Fort Bend Helping Heroes Charity soon transitioned from an idea to a reality. Our Mission: Keeping FBC EMS First Responders whole physically and mentally through educational and financial assistance; Assisting Fort Bend County First Responders through disasters, crises or emergencies; Assisting their families impacted by a Line of Duty Death in our community, and; Provide assistance to the sometimes-forgotten heroes in our community, our First Responders.
The physical and mental toll our local heroes will suffer are potentially career ending. Disabling injury and debilitating PTSD are just one call away for our FBC EMS heroes. A survey of more than 4,000 first responders found that 6.6% had attempted suicide, which is more than 10 times the rate in the general population, according to a 2015 article published in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.
Our Local heroes are available for your emergency 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Fort Bend Helping Heroes Charity wants to be available for our local heroes equally the same. Our Board of Directors have a combined 80 plus years of experience at FBC Emergency Medical Service. We have worn the uniform. We are committed to our mission to our FBC EMS Heroes, past and present. Compassion, Empathy, Teamwork, Innovation, Professionalism, Safety. These are the core values of Fort Bend County Emergency Medical Service. These values remain with our brothers and sisters long after the uniform comes off. The successes of the FBC EMS reunion group and the transition into Fort Bend Helping Heroes Charity has demonstrated that. Your Support is greatly appreciated. Our local heroes are called to help families in our community. Help us help our family, your local heroes.
Al Burciaga, EMT-P
Director/President of Fort Bend Helping Heroes
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