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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Gil Dong, Deputy Fire Chief, (510) 981-5501

$44,500 grant from Fireman's Fund Insurance Company provides suits, training and other equipment to help the Fire Department respond to marina and park users in trouble

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, September 30, 2008) - Berkeley firefighters will be better prepared to rescue swimmers, sailors and windsurfers when they get into trouble, thanks to a grant of private money being given to the department by Fireman's Fund Insurance Company.

A demonstration of the equipment, which will protect rescuers from the cold Bay waters, will be held on Friday at the Berkeley pier.

Who:   Berkeley Fire Chief Debra Pryor; Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong, firefighters, and executives from Arthur J. Gallagher and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company
What:   Grant award and demonstration of life-saving rescue equipment
Where:  Berkeley Pier (near Skates Restaurant) 100 Seawall Dr.
When:  Friday, Oct. 3, 2008 10:30 a.m.

Berkeley Fire Chief Deby Pryor said the grant money will equip a dozen rescuers with head-to-toe gear, including dry suits, masks, helmets, floatation vests, and marine radios. The department will also send each rescuer to a one-week water rescue training course accredited by the United States Lifesaving Association.

“Naturally, because of the city’s location along the bay, our department must be prepared for a variety of rescues both on land and in the water,” said Chief Pryor. “This grant enables us to purchase critical equipment for water rescues, and gives us greater ability to partner with agencies like the Coast Guard.”

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company are teaming up to award $44,500 to the Berkeley Fire Department to purchase necessary equipment and to fund the accredited training for 12 firefighters to perform water rescues.

“We can’t think of a better way to support the firefighters in this area,” said Don Tarantino, area president of Gallagher-Tarantino, a division of Arthur J. Gallagher. “Firefighters will use this equipment for many years to come and hopefully it will make a difference and even help save lives.”

About Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Founded in 1927, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. provides a full range of property/casualty and employee benefits products and services to clients of all sizes.

About Fireman's Fund Insurance Company
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company is a premier property and casualty insurance company providing personal, commercial and specialty insurance products nationwide.


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