Channel 5 “Why We Give” features St. Paul Fire Foundation

We recently had the honor of being featured on Channel 5 Eyewitness News as part of their inspiring “Why We Give” campaign. 

Watch the story that aired on Eyewitness Channel 5 KSTP News on November 17th.

Anchor Megan Newquist’s story coverage brought our mission and efforts into the spotlight. Megan has a personal connection to the firefighting community: her husband is a firefighter. She interviewed Executive Director Cris Shapira and SPFD Chief Butch Inks (Foundation board member and SPFD Captain Bryan Buxton Captain, also made a cameo.)

We are very grateful to Megan and the Channel 5 team for telling our story and helping to raise awareness about the vital work we do.

About our mission, featured on Channel 5

Our dedication to firefighter safety is unwavering at the St. Paul Fire Foundation. Our daily commitment extends beyond the confines of our office, directly impacting the brave men and women who serve our community in Saint Paul and throughout Minnesota. Their safety and well-being are the heart of our mission.

A Personal Drive:

“I am going to do whatever I can to make sure they get whatever they need,” declares Cris Shapira, our Executive Director. 

Her husband, Steve, a retired St. Paul firefighter, laid the Foundation of our organization in 2010, driven by firsthand experience of the profession’s challenges. 

Cris acknowledges our budgetary constraints facing the SPFD: “90% of the budget goes to salaries and benefits, so you’re leaving a very small amount for everything else.”

Tangible Achievements:

As Channel 5 shared in their story, our initiatives speak volumes. 

We have equipped our firefighters with 30 bulletproof vests, noise-canceling headsets for drivers, fourteen thermal imaging cameras, and protective hoods that block 99% of carcinogenic particulates. 

Our latest achievement, installing infrared saunas in every St. Paul Fire Station, marks a significant milestone in promoting firefighter health and wellness.

Chief Inks looks forward to continued partnership.

Chief Butch Inks of the St. Paul Fire Department, a veteran with 30 years of experience, reflects on the evolving understanding of firefighter safety. 

“It wasn’t until later that more studies and research revealed that [soot] is a cancer-causing carcinogen. We had to change how we’re doing things,” he explains. 

This evolution in safety practices is a critical area where our Foundation makes a difference.

Innovative Health Initiatives:

Incorporating saunas into fire stations is part of our commitment to exploring and implementing health-forward strategies. 

“Studies continue on the benefits of sauna and the toxins that emerge, and we’re engaged in that study right now,” Chief Inks elaborates, highlighting our active role in advancing firefighter health research.

Our Impact on the Front Lines:

Our Foundation’s support is a lifeline for the 434 firefighters in our community. Chief Inks appreciates our efforts, noting, “They’re always there to help in any way possible to help us bridge the gap on some funding initiatives.”

You can make a difference, too

Our work at the St. Paul Fire Foundation is more than a duty; it is a heartfelt commitment to protect those who courageously serve our community. Join us in this noble cause. Together, we can ensure that our firefighters receive the support and resources they need to stay safe while they keep us safe.

Discover more about our mission and learn how you can contribute to the safety and well-being of our firefighters. 

Your support can make a real difference.