Families of Injured and Fallen Firefighters Struggling Under Minimal Benefits

Los Angeles, California (July 5, 2004) – A fire engine rushing to a fire breaks down on a foggy country road. The 19-year old volunteer firefighter driving the fire engine sees a friend driving his pickup in the opposite direction and flags him down. When the firefighter sprints across the road to borrow a chain so the fire engine can be towed, a speeding van darts out of the fog and the firefighter is struck and killed.

Compounding this tragedy, because his fire chief wrote up the report “He was crossing the road to get a chain to pull the fire truck back to the station” without including the fact he was on his way to a fire, the firefighter’s pregnant wife is denied the $267,000 federal Public Safety Officer Benefit (PSOB) death benefit and only $50,000 of the $154,000 state death benefit is paid out, money she desperately needs for her family of two kids.

A veteran firefighter with 30 years of service is instructing a class on breather gear and smoke inhalation effects in a smoke- filled training room. His breathing gear malfunctions and he begins breathing smoke. Unable to catch his breath, the firefighter suffers a massive heart-attack and dies. Since he was only conducting a training session, not participating in an actual fire, his family is also denied full death benefits.

In many cases, similar stories apply to firefighters who may be part-time or volunteers. Cash-strapped states and municipalities may restrict access to death benefit funds, as does the federal government. For instance, since 1958, over 150 air-tanker pilots have died in the line of duty and none of them have been eligible for the PSOB death benefit due to the fact they are viewed as civilian contractors, not employees of federal or state agencies.

To combat this problem, Firebomber Publications has entered into a strategic partnership with Emergency Training Associates (ETA) designed to provide expanded fund-raising capability to organizations that support firefighters.

“ETA has agreed to provide a 25% commission (50% of the publisher’s net profits) for the first two novels in the Firebombers Incorporated saga (Firebombers Incorporated and the newly-released sequel, Firestorm) while also providing a commission of up to 10% on many other items on the ETA websites to qualified firefighter support organizations who join this program as affiliates”, stated Lou Jordan, President of ETA.

“This is our way of supporting the brave men and women who put their lives in jeopardy day after day, yet end up at the end of the line (or left out in the cold) when it comes to benefits”, said Firebomber Publications publisher Michael Archer. “They are often forced to work with outdated or faulty equipment because there is no funding to buy new gear. By joining the affiliates program, even the smallest fire department or charity will not only get help to buy new equipment, but the program will also provide funds for the families of injured or fallen firefighters within their jurisdiction”.

“We are enthusiastic about this new program!”, said Monty Gearhart, Director of Ways and Means for the California State Firefighters Association (CSFA), a member of the affiliates program. “Not only can visitors to our site (www.csfa.net) get a great read, but they also help CSFA financially, since we get a portion of the profits every time they buy a copy of FIRESTORM or FIREBOMBERS INCORPORATED”.

About ETA
Emergency Training Associates is the parent company that owns and operates 4 divisions, all serving the Emergency Services Community. EMSBooks, FirehouseBooks, EmergencyTees and FirehouseFoods have grown into specific divisions of ETA over the years. Website: www.emsbooks.com

About Firebomber Publications
Firebomber Publications is a small press dedicated to providing exciting firefighting fiction to the general public. Firebomber Publications donates 50% of the profits from sales of the “Firebombers Incorporated” product line to organizations that support the families of injured and fallen firefighters. Website: www.firebomberpublications.com

Michael Archer of Firebomber Publications
(626) 915-4779 (Phone/FAX)