January 9 - 15, 2012
December 23, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
T.J. Nedrow 1-360-870-3259
Volunteer Firefighters Get Governor Proclamation, Special License Plate
To coincide with the availability of new special license plates for volunteer firefighters, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has proclaimed Jan. 9-15, 2012 as "Volunteer Firefighter Recognition Week" in Washington. On Thursday, Jan. 12, the first 25 Volunteer Firefighter special license plates will be distributed in a noon ceremony at the State Capitol Rotunda in Olympia
In her proclamation, Gov. Gregoire notes the majority of firefighters in Washington are volunteers who, ". . .deserve to be recognized for their willingness to provide courageous service without monetary compensation." She also notes that when not responding to emergencies, ". . .these public servants are involved in numerous community programs." The Governor said Volunteer Firefighter Recognition Week, ". . .honors these individuals and their selfless service to their communities.
Washington State Fire Fighters' Association (WSFFA) President Ken Blake said, "WSFFA sincerely thanks Gov. Gregoire for her recognition of how much volunteer fire and EMS responders give to their communities every day, often with no more compensation than their own satisfaction in a job well done. For the Governor to extend her appreciation and coordinate it with introducing our new license plates is just icing on the cake for volunteers all across Washington."
WSFFA has labored for many years to have legislation enacted permitting a specialty license plate for volunteer firefighters to purchase for their personal vehicles. WSFFA Past-President and special license plate project administrator T.J. Nedrow said, "We finally have a way at the state level that respectfully recognizes the thousands of volunteers – past, present and future – for their dedicated, unselfish service."
As the sponsoring organization, WSFFA was given the opportunity to assign the first 25 plates in numerical order. The Association board has designated each of the first 19 plates to individuals with long histories of service to the Association and the volunteer fire service in Washington. At the Jan. 12 ceremony in Olympia, these individuals will be recognized for their service and receive their license plates. The remaining six plates in this first group were offered to firefighters in an online auction that raised $1,820 for the WSFFA Benevolent Fund.
Once the initial revenues reimburse the state for producing the plates, further proceeds from the sales of these license plates and subsequent annual renewals will be directed to the WSFFA Benevolent Fund which provides funding for:
· Line of duty death benefit
· Catastrophic member benefit
· National Fire Academy scholarships
· WSFFA Annual Fire School scholarships
· Out-of-department training and scholarships
· Annual Washington State Firefighters Memorial event.
Applicants for Volunteer Firefighter license plates must currently be a volunteer firefighter for one or more years, or must have been a volunteer firefighter for at least ten years or and have documentation of service from the district or the appropriate fire service entity/jurisdiction. Volunteers are recognized in any one of multiple roles, including firefighter, tender operator, EMS responder, chaplain, photographer and fire investigator.
For more information on eligibility, see the license plate FAQ section online at www.wsffa.org. Application forms may be downloaded from the Washington State Department of Licensing at http://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/specialdesign.html.
Founded in 1923, WSFFA is the oldest statewide fire service organization. Its mission is to provide information, education, benefits and representation to the volunteer fire service in order to enhance their capability and professionalism. Membership includes more than 400 fire departments and districts, representing approximately 16,000 volunteers. WSFFA is a non-profit organization under IRS regulation part 501(c)(3). Further information on WSFFA may be found at www.wsffa.org
or by calling 1-800-340-8023.