A program called SAVE (Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency) now allows Santa Barbara firefighters to offer victims of fires or natural disasters a $100 cash card. Thirty departments across the state offer this assistance program, which is funded entirely by donations and corporate support from Chevron. Since the program first launched in late August, 45 families have been assisted.
“In a major fire or disaster, people often are leaving their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” said Tony Pighetti, president of Santa Barbara City Firefighters Local 525, in a statement. “They may have lost all their cash or credit cards. SAVE is about giving those families a hand getting through the worst night of their lives.”
Santa Barbara Mayor Helen Schneider added that firefighters make a difference by virtue of the risks they take on the job, and through the program they are able to take a small step toward helping victims rebuild their lives. “I’m proud that our city is one of those that have stepped forward to offer this aid, and I commend the California Fire Foundation for making SAVE available,” Schneider said in a statement.