Fireman’s Fund Fights for Firefighters

By | April 26, 2013

You hear a lot of companies promoting their charitable efforts but few have the charitable sounding umph as the name Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co.

The company was founded in 1863 by ship captain William Holdredge, and the company’s name celebrates the founder’s arrangement to pay 10 percent of company profits to support the widows and orphans of firefighters.

To mark its 150th year anniversary the company kicked off a national celebration at The Old Mint in San Francisco, which will be followed by a traveling exhibit of historic items from the company’s history. The event in April drew several hundred industry professionals, politicians and members of the media.

During the event the company gave a $25,000 gift to the San Francisco Fire Department. The funds will go to support community outreach programs and research on the high rates of cancer found among firefighters. According to Fireman’s Fund, the donation brings the total funds the company has awarded to the fire department to $250,000 since 2004.

Through its Heritage Program, the company supports firefighters by providing grants for vital equipment and training. Since 2004, which the Heritage Program was launched, Fireman’s Fund has donated more than $29 million in grants to more than 1,800 fire departments across the us, said Fireman’s Fund President and CEO Lori Fouché, who was on hand to give the check to the fire department and host an event in the historic Old Mint building, which was filled with pieces visual history from Fireman’s Fund’s past.

Other speakers at the event talked about the company’s particular importance in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as in other locales where the insurer helped rebuild after catastrophes.

“Your history is the history of the city of San Francisco, the Bay Area, the state of California and our country,” said Congressman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, one of the dignitaries at the event.

One of the highlights of the displays in the building was a tribute to the James Bond films. Fireman’s Fund has insured all 23 of the 007 films, and had posters of the films, as well as and costumes worn by the Bond girls and the dapper agents themselves, including suits worn by some of the best known Bonds: Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.

The Old Mint itself, located in downtown San Francisco, was also celebrated at the event. The National Historic Landmark is slated to become the San Francisco Museum at the Mint.

Also known as “Granite Lady,” the building was constructed in 1874, and was a survivor of disasters, including the Great Earthquake of 1906. Between 1874 and 1937, it was the most active mint in the U.S., according to curators of the building.

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