FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Media Contact: Laura McCloud Mathers
Phone: (206) 660-7174
(Bellevue, April 4, 2022) The Bellevue Fire Foundation today announced a donation of $250,000 from Amazon, including a $150,000 matching grant for the purchase of a Wildlands Type 6 Brush Truck in time for 2022’s wildfire season.
The nonprofit also noted it will run a fundraising campaign through the Spring to obtain the additional dollars needed to purchase the brush truck. It will assist firefighters in tackling fast-moving wildfires in wooded areas. Amazon will provide $150,000 toward the purchase and match donations from the community for the remaining $150,000.
Founded in 2020, Bellevue Fire Foundation was formed to support Bellevue’s firefighters and paramedics in protecting life, property, and the environment by providing equipment, training, and public outreach programs beyond city resources. Its vision is for the Bellevue Fire Department to be a well-equipped global leader of fire and emergency services to address modern-day challenges in prevention, preparedness, and response.
The Bellevue Fire Foundation called the donation from Amazon “transformational,” and said it was the largest gift received to date. Laura McCloud Mathers, Founder, President, and CEO of the Bellevue Fire Foundation said she received a call in February informing her of the gift. “When I heard the gift would be $250,000, I lost my breath and felt so much emotion well up. We are deeply honored by this incredible recognition of our young organization and the impact we are making. It’s a testament to the willingness of the community to come alongside those who stand ready to protect us by providing showing their appreciation and providing additional resources for them to be prepared and well equipped.”
“Western Washington has seen an increasing number of brush fires in recent years, and we know Bellevue is beloved for its lush environment,” said Pearl Leung, Amazon’s head of community engagement for Bellevue. “At Amazon, we are committed to serving our neighbors and investing in the future of our community, and this donation will help the Bellevue Fire Department keep the city safe.”
The Brush Truck helps combat fast-moving brush and grass fires that pose a threat to at-risk neighborhoods situated near or in more natural environments. The fleet of Type 1 Fire Engines is well-suited for the typical residential and commercial structure fire, but lacks the mobility and capabilities needed to deploy a direct fire attack – a task well suited for the Type 6 brush truck.
“Bellevue is considered a “City in a Park”. With a tree canopy of 36%, green belt drainages that connect our neighborhoods, and a vast network of trails, our thriving community is an idyllic place to live, work, and play”, said Bellevue Fire Chief Jay Hagen. “Alongside that beauty is an emerging concern of vulnerability. The most significant wildfires in Washington state have occurred in 5 of the past 7 years. To ensure we are ready to protect and provide safety to the communities we serve, I have asked the Bellevue Fire Foundation to help us acquire this new apparatus. Words cannot express our gratitude to Amazon for their generous donation.”
The Bellevue Fire Department is one of a select few firefighting agencies with a Class 2 rating from the Washington State Survey and Rating Bureau. Bellevue Fire ranks in the top 1% of the 46,699 departments in the U.S. and is one of the top three in the state. It responds to 20,000 incidents each year, 75% of them medical in nature, and maintains one of the highest cardiac arrest survival rates in the world.
For more information on the Bellevue Fire Foundation’s efforts, visit www.bellevuefirefoundation.org.
Bellevue Fire Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and was founded in 2020 to support the Bellevue Fire Department in protecting life, property, and the environment by providing equipment, training, and community engagement programs that go beyond city resources.