The mission of the Last Call Foundation is to provide funding, education and research to advance the safety needs of the Boston firefighting community
The Last Call Foundation was founded by Kathy Crosby-Bell in honor of her son, fallen Firefighter Michael Ryan Kennedy, who along with Lieutenant Edward Walsh died battling the nine-alarm fire on March 26, 2014 in Boston’s Back Bay. This tragedy highlighted the unique challenges facing Boston’s firefighters. The Last Call Foundation is committed to identifying and addressing these challenges to enhance Boston firefighters’ ability to safely and effectively fight fires and protect each of us. With your help, we can avoid future tragedy and, hopefully, save lives.
Renovation and Updating of Firehouses
The Organization will support improvements, renovations and updates to firehouses throughout the city of Boston. Boston’s infrastructure is aged and firehouses are no exception. Boston’s historically significant firehouses are difficult and expensive to maintain and retrofit with modern equipment.
Educate the public to the needs of Boston’s Fire Department
Boston’s firefighters need state-of-the-art tools and technology on the fire ground to better protect themselves and the public. This is particularly important given the fire safety challenges of a historic and densely populated city like Boston. The Boston Fire Department responded to 74,191 calls in 2013, yet the public is largely unaware of the tremendous challenges they face.
The Last Call Foundation will work to raise awareness and educate the public about the working conditions and health issues faced by firefighters today. Given the responsibilities and inherent risks of their profession, these issues are vitally important to firefighters. The chronic exposure to heat, smoke and toxins that firefighters experience while in the line of duty raise health issues not seen in the general civilian population. Fatigue while in full gear can lead to injury – injuries that more modern engineering could mitigate or eliminate. Over-exertion, stress and medical issues accounted for the largest share of deaths in 2013 (NFPA). Sudden cardiac deaths account for 42% of the on duty deaths in the last five years (NFPA).
Research, education, and collaboration are critical to enhancing the safety and well-being of Boston firefighters and our community. The public is safer when the heroic firefighters responding to their alarms are safer.
The risk of death and destruction from fires is a major concern to the Last Call Foundation. Therefore, we are driven by a desire to partner with engineers and scientists who are at the forefront of innovation, to advance the field of fire safety. Simply put, the public is safer when the heroic firefighters responding to their alarms are safer. The Last Call Foundation is committed to provide seed and bridge funding for gifted scientists and their graduate fellows who are the emerging leaders in the field of Fire Protection Engineering. To sustain momentum and promote the next wave of big ideas, philanthropy must step up to take a front-and-center role in supporting their research efforts. With your help, the Last Call Foundation is prepared to take the lead in this critical endeavor.
The Organization plans to establish a permanent memorial to Lieutenant Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Ryan Kennedy within the Engine 33 Ladder 15 district. Such a memorial would serve as a permanent remembrance of these courageous firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty. It will ensure that these brave men are never forgotten. The memorial aims to provide a reminder to the public of the sacrifices made by these men and women, and remind the public
Every firefighter is a hero every day.