Gary Sinise Foundation’s Surprise Gift Comes to the Rescue of Fire Department
By Movieguide® Staff
For the first responders at Mims Volunteer Fire Department, coming to the rescue is a common occurrence. However, due to a recent encryption mandate for radios and medical equipment announced by the Department of Homeland Security, they found themselves in need of help.
Thankfully, actor Gary Sinise and his foundation came to their aid.
“It’s safe to say this mandate was the biggest problem we faced,” Chief Ryan Hunt said. “Life saving equipment comes with a hefty price tag and we operate on a county budget of less than $1,600 a month.”
As the deadline approached, the fire department received a call from the Gary Sinise Foundation.
“These wonderful people asked to use our station to serve lunch to our department and Cocoa’s Four Communities Volunteer Fire Department,” Hunt said.
The Gary Sinise Foundation also provides first responders with the First Responder Outreach Grant Program and the Mims Volunteer Fire Department applied. The grant was approved and quickly came to the rescue with over $35,000 worth of equipment.
Two weeks later at the lunch, the Gary Sinise Foundation included a special gift for the department—boxes full of the required communications equipment.
“Gary Sinise and his foundation guaranteed the North Brevard community they would not have any disruption in fire protection services and that the Mims Volunteer Fire Department would continue to provide quality service for many years to come,” Hunt said.
“Providing this equipment is a perfect example of how creating chapters of the Gary Sinise Foundation expands support and awareness specific to the needs of a region and the amazing people who bravely serve and protect it,” Central Florida Chapter president Karen Conners echoed.
“Each step in his journey from self to service has contributed to where the Foundation is today and its mission to honor our nation’s defenders, veterans, first-responders, their families, and those in need. We are all Grateful Americans, and as Gary reminds us, ‘While we can never do enough for our defenders and their loved ones, we can always do a little more,’ the Gary Sinise Foundation posted on Facebook.
Movieguide® previously reported on Sinise’s relationship to Movieguide and years of philanthropy:
Gary has been a friend of Movieguide®, founder Dr. Ted Baehr, Robby Baehr and Evy Baehr Carroll for many years. As a result of an invitation from Dr. Ted Baehr, Gary spoke at the first GI Film Festival and then became deeply involved in future GI Film Festivals.