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First on the scene of any emergency, firefighters respond to natural disasters, accidents, medical emergencies and fires – despite increasingly limited resources. Across the country, funding challenges have left many volunteer and paid fire departments without adequate resources to do their job. In 2004, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (FFIC), a national property and casualty company, launched a multi-million dollar corporate philanthropy program, “Fireman’s Fund Heritage,” to provide grants to help fund equipment, firefighter training and fire safety initiatives for fire departments in communities where its employees, agents and policyholders live and work. More than a traditional corporate giving program, Fireman’s Fund Heritage was designed to build trust in the Fireman’s Fund brand and create a more inspirational corporate culture. In year one, it would be critical to engage employees in the program and demonstrate its importance to the company’s brand. The Fireman’s Fund communications team and Ketchum created the Bucket Brigade – the employee involvement program for Fireman’s Fund Heritage – to generate excitement in the new philanthropic mission and give employees a sense of pride in the company.
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