When a wildland firefighter dies, he or she leaves behind a grieving family and often times includes grieving children. The vision for Camp Hope is to create a retreat to service the children in our wildland fire community. These children have suffered an unexpected life changing event such as the death or traumatic injury of a loved one. Camp Hope will be a place where they can connect with each other, come together in healing and build everlasting friendships. In this place we hope to help them start feeling better and to begin to moving forward again. Most importantly to come away with knowing that they are loved and that they are not alone. As things move along in the development of Camp Hope, we will keep you posted.
The Foundation employs a grief recovery specialist who helps grieving families on their journey to healing. We have an annual “Family Fire Weekend” every third weekend in May in which surviving families gather in Boise, Idaho to honor and remember, to grieve and to heal. The Foundation also publishes a quarterly newsletter specifically for surviving families.
The history and legacy of the wildland community is one of extraordinary accomplishments, high performance and exceptional courage. The deeds of these firefighters deserve to be remembered and recognized. We are proud to post their pictures on our website and the walls of the Foundation are graced with their photos. We are in the process of creating an interpretive center to educate the public about wildland firefighters and the lands they protect.
Here is a list of literature pertaining to our programs and self-help services.
We maintain a dedicated fund so that each year, we provide an extra helping hand to wildland children who have lost a parent, have an injured parent or who have a parent experiencing financial hardship enjoy a brighter Christmas.
We all can take action to help prevent suicide, but many people don’t know what they can do to support the wildland firefighter in their life who is going through a difficult time. Our, “One Foot in the Black” suicide prevention and resilience program speaks honestly and directly to wildland firefighters and their families about the importance of recognizing the warning signs of suicide, the risk and protective factors, how to talk with someone who is feeling suicidal and how to build and sustain a life worth living.
Wildland Firefighter Foundation participates on the cadre of this National Interagency Critical Incident Management course that provides guidelines for agency administrators, employees, family members and others who have been impacted by a critical incident. Tragedies mostly occur suddenly and without warning. For that reason, pre-incident planning and training are invaluable. Preparing “our best” for the “the worst” can help to stabilize an otherwise intense situation.