Honoring the Omaha Police Officers Association

The First Responders Foundation is honored to be inducting the Omaha Police Officers Association into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael at the 5th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 10, 2021. 

The Ancient Order of Saint Florian and Saint Michael is a society made up of members of the community who have provided long-term and exceptional service to first responders and their families through their enduring and exceptional acts of financial giving or acts of selfless volunteerism, and those who have made a great impact in the community.

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Honoring Omaha Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF 385

The First Responders Foundation is honored to be inducting the Omaha Professional Fire Fighters Association, IAFF 385 into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael at the 5th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 10, 2021. 

The Ancient Order of Saint Florian and Saint Michael is a society made up of members of the community who have provided long-term and exceptional service to first responders and their families, through their enduring and exceptional acts of financial giving or acts of selfless volunteerism, and those who have made a great impact in the community.

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Giving Back to the Community is Important to the Bremer’s

The First Responders Foundation is honored to be inducting Debbie and Jeff Bremer into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael at the 5th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 10, 2021. 

The Ancient Order of Saint Florian and Saint Michael is a society made up of members of the community who have provided long-term and exceptional service to first responders, veterans, and their families through their enduring and exceptional acts of financial giving or acts of selfless volunteerism. The Bremer’s have been extremely supportive of the Foundation for many years. Debbie serves on the Board of Directors and is currently Vice Chairman of the Board.

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Deputy Tony Ramaeker – Scheels Home Town Hero

Congratulations to Deputy Tony Ramaeker! Scheels and American Heroes Outdoors have teamed up to capture and share stories of real heroes living in local communities. Officer Tony Ramaeker is a first responder at the Douglas County Sheriffs Office and is a local metro area hero. The First Responders Foundation is proud to announce that Deputy Ramaeker was recently named a Scheels Home Town Hero and was honored at the Scheels store at Village Pointe in Omaha on March 31st.

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Appreciation Lunches for First Responders

Over the past 11 years the First Responders Foundation has delivered over 10,000 lunches to thank our first responders to let them know how much we appreciate their dedication and commitment to the citizens of our community.  We call this effort ‘Appreciation Lunch Day’ and it happens the first week of June each year.  It is a huge task and we could not do it without our valuable partners and dedicated volunteers who make it all happen.

This year lunches were provided by Omaha Steaks, Chick-fil-A and Nebraska Furniture MartPremier-Midwest Beverage provided the refrigerated trailer.

To get kids involved, every year we reach out to different schools to decorate lunch bags for us to put the lunches in for delivery.  The lunch bags highlight the impact that first responders have on our youth.  The pictures that the kids draw, and the messages of admiration and appreciation are inspiring.  We have been told by the first responders that this is one of the things they look forward to the most each year.  A special thanks to the students of Picotte, Joslyn, Ezra, Standing Bear and Sunny Slope Elementary Schools for decorating the lunch bags this year!

Volunteers assemble the lunches the night before delivery and the lunches are stored in a refrigerated trailer overnight and ready to go delivery morning.  The volunteer drivers deliver the lunches to Omaha Police Precincts and HQ and Omaha Fire stations and HQ.  This year we added Douglas County and even delivered to Council Bluffs Police HQ.  We have the best volunteers!

The 12th Annual Appreciation Lunch Day will be held on June 2nd, 2021.  If you are a business that would like to get involved or if you would like to volunteer for this great event, please send an email to contact@FirstRespondersFoundation.org.

Supportive Hands and Voices

“It was hard to tell the difference between the fireworks in the neighborhood and the flashing lights of the approaching rescue squad.”

We had just finished dinner.  The kids were scrambling to find shoes and run outside for the start of sparklers and the highly anticipated fireworks.  It all changed in an instant.  I will never forget the cry from my sister’s voice, “Call 911, Devin’s having a seizure.”

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We Are Thankful

This week as we collectively focus on all that we are thankful for the First Responders Foundation is thankful for our new Wellness Center!

Last spring we moved from a 12 x 12 room to a new facility that comes in at just under 8,000 square feet.  We are thankful for this new building, at 10605 Burt Circle in Omaha, NE, that allows us to expand our mission to serve and honor first responders, veterans, and their families.

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2020 Inductees to the Ancient Society of Saints Florian and Michael

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer

Chief Todd SchmadererThe First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer by inducting him into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael.

We thank Chief Schmaderer for his professionalism in all circumstances and his dedication and commitment to the City of Omaha.

The First Responders Foundation thanks Chief Schmaderer for his outstanding leadership of the Omaha Police Department, for his professionalism in all circumstances, his dedication and commitment to the citizens of the City of Omaha and the metro area, and for his continuous support of our Foundation.

Todd R. Schmaderer was appointed the 32nd Chief of Police for the City of Omaha on August 15, 2012. Chief Schmaderer leads the largest law enforcement agency in the State of Nebraska, which is comprised of 902 sworn officers and 160 non-sworn personnel. He manages an operating budget of $160 million, and serves a population of 460,000 residents in the city limits.

Chief Schmaderer is a dedicated police professional who has excelled at all ranks in the Omaha Police Department.

He is a 24-year-veteran of the Omaha Police Department, and previously held the positions of Deputy Chief, Captain, Training Academy Commander, and Uniform Patrol Supervisor as a Lieutenant and Sergeant.

Chief Schmaderer is an adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Bellevue University. He serves on the Boards of many organizations, to include the Nebraska Crime Commission, the Omaha Police Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands. He is a member of the Omaha-Metropolitan Chiefs Association, the Police Officers Association of Nebraska, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He has lived in Omaha his entire life and is a 1990 graduate of Omaha Roncalli High School.

Omaha Fire Chief Dan Olsen

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Omaha Fire Chief Dan Olsen by inducting him into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael.

Daniel C. Olsen was appointed Fire Chief on December 28, 2016, becoming the Omaha Fire Department’s 31st Fire Chief.

Chief Dan Olsen

Chief Olsen began his public safety career with the department in 1993 and has served as a Firefighter, Captain, Fire Investigator, Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief, and Interim Fire Chief before being appointed as the Fire Chief. An interested fact is that Chief Olsen is also a certified law enforcement officer. He graduated from the Omaha Police Academy in 2009. Chief Olsen manages a 116.8 million dollar budget and provides leadership to over 650 firefighters and oversees 24 fire stations. Chief Olsen also manages the fire department’s administrative and civilian staff.

Chief Dan OlsenWe thank Chief Olsen for his dedication, professionalism, and leadership to the Omaha Fire Department and for the service to our community.

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Chief Dan Olsen by inducting him into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael. We thank Chief Olsen for his dedication, professionalism, and leadership to the Omaha Fire Department and for the service to our community. We thank Chief Olsen for his willingness to go above and beyond to support the mission of the First Responders Foundation and for our partnership and collaboration.

Mary & Hal Daub

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Mary & Hal Daub by inducting them into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael. Hal Daub

Hal and Mary Daub have a life long history of service to the community and the country, and of supporting first responders.

Hal and Mary have served or chaired fundraising events for Multiple Sclerosis Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Nebraska Special Olympics, Monroe-Myers Institute, Omaha Home for Boys, Friends of Scouting, Optimists Club, the Academic Decathlon, Salvation Army, Madonna School, Junior League, Joslyn Art Museum, Children’s Hospital, Mid-America Boy Scouts Council, South Omaha Eagles and many more.

Mary has also served the community through real estate and her career teaching public school.

As Mayor, Hal is remembered for bringing the police helicopter to advance public safety and infra-red helmets to the fire department.

Mary & Hal DaubHal served as a Captain, U.S. Army Infantry, Platoon Leader and Company Commander, served four-terms in the United States House of Representatives and was Mayor of the City of Omaha. As Mayor, Hal is remembered for bringing the police helicopter to advance public safety and infra-red helmets to the fire department. He brought the Sun Dawgs summer youth program to Omaha Parks & Recreation, the Downtown Riverfront Development for a Convention Center and Arena, the First National Bank Tower, the Union Pacific Center, the Hruska Federal Court House, the Curtis Regional Park Service Headquarters, the South Omaha Stockyards and North Omaha development projects and the West Dodge Expressway.

Hal is now a Senior Counsel with Husch Blackwell law firm and is currently serving on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Mary and Hal Daub by inducting them into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael. We thank them for their advocacy for first responders, their long term commitment to public safety and their continuing support of the First Responders Foundation.

Jim Hanson Jr.

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Jim Hanson, Jr. by inducting him into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael.

Jim Hanson JrJim Hanson Jr. is currently Chairman Emeritus for the First Responders Foundation after serving as Chairman in 2018/19. Jim has been with the Foundation since the beginning and was part of the team that created the #SupportBlue Movement and the 9/11 Minute of Silence. Jim has been an invaluable and dedicated member of the board, serving wherever needed, always with a can-do attitude and a smile.

Jim Hanson JrJim has a long history of volunteerism.

He is the past President of Downtown Omaha Rotary Club. Jim Jr. was appointed to the board of Workforce Development/(Heartland Workforce Solutions) by Mayor Mike Fahey in 2003, for which he is past Chair and on the Executive Board, retiring from the board in 2019. In 2015, Jim was appointed by Governor Pete Ricketts, to the Nebraska Workforce Development Board and presently chairs the Policy and Oversight Subcommittee. Jim is also a graduate of the FBI citizens academy and is the incoming chair for the FBICAAA (FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association) Jim and his wife Rose are also contributors and volunteers for the Nebraska Humane Society. Past activities include: Big Brothers/Big Sisters volunteer, Junior Achievement volunteer, and Past Distinguished and Outstanding President for Mid-City Optimist club.

Jim Hanson Jr

InTouch Communications

Jim founded InTouch Communications in 1996. InTouch has eight employees and is currently the leading Telecommunication Solution Provider (TSP) in the Midwest.

We thank Jim for his endless contributions to the First Responders Foundation and the Board of Directors and for his commitment and dedication to first responders in the community.

The Criss Foundation

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor The Dr. C.C. and Mabel Criss Foundation by inducting the Foundation into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael.

We are thankful for the Criss Foundation’s enduring financial support of the First Responders Foundation and for their commitment to the First Responders Support Team and the mental and emotional health of all first responders. Andy Davis accepted the award on behalf of the Criss Foundation. We thank Andy for partnering with and for his continued confidence in the First Responders Foundation.  Andy shared the following:

The Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Memorial Foundation has carried on the Criss legacy of philanthropy since 1978. Multiple health institutions, universities, cultural agencies, scholarship funds, youth programs and social service organizations have all benefited from the Foundation’s generosity. As the founders of Mutual of Omaha, Dr. and Mrs. Criss were deeply committed to serving the Omaha community. That legacy of service remains as strong as it was forty-two years ago thanks to their vision and philanthropic leadership.

The Criss Foundation is deeply honored to be inducted into the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael. We are especially grateful to support the extraordinary work of the First Responders Foundation.

Our first responders and their families make great sacrifices every day in order to serve others. The Criss Foundation is honored to serve them.

Thank you to the First Responders Foundation and to all first responders for your service and sacrifice.”

Noelle, Awards of Excellence Recipient, Follows Her Firefighter Father’s Example

We congratulate Noelle Philippi for being selected as a First Responders Foundation Awards of Excellence 2020 recipients.  Noelle is graduating from Ralston High School. 

The Awards of Excellence are presented to children of first responders who demonstrate a commitment to the community and volunteerism, have good character, and balanced achievements in their lives.

Below is part of an essay that Noelle submitted for the award.

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2020 Awards of Excellence Recipients Announced

The First Responders Foundation is proud to announce the Awards of Excellence 2020 Winners.

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected as recipients of the First Responders Foundation Awards of Excellence 2020.

Fire

  • Landon Barrett – Underwood High School
  • Michaela Dooley – Yutan High School
  • John Farmer III – Omaha North High School
  • Leah Fitzke – Fremont High School
  • Elise Fitzpatrick – Papillion LaVista South High School
  • Jackson Glup – Plattsmouth High School
  • Tea Jackson – Bellevue West High School
  • Kiley Johnson – Millard West High School
  • Katelyn Komenda – Raymond Central High School
  • Rashawn McNeal-Lee – Omaha South High School
  • Caroline Moore – Marian High School
  • Matthew Neville – Ralston High School
  • Jack Nieto – Papillion LaVista High School
  • Noelle Philippi – Ralston High School
  • Mia Shepoka – Mercy Catholic High School
  • Gabe Stolinski – Gretna High School

Police

  • Claire Benson – Westside High School
  • Julia Benson – Westside High School
  • Isabella Milone – Glenwood High School
  • Jaclyn Negrete – Papillion LaVista High School
  • Owen O’Brien – Lewis Central High School
  • Meghan O’Neil – Skutt Catholic High School
  • Lucy Parizek – Omaha Burke High School
  • Antonio Rinn – Millard North High School
  • Connor Rinn – Millard North High School
  • Emily Saalfeld – Marian High School
  • Halley Shade – Conestoga High School
  • Emma Spizzirri – Skutt Catholic High School
  • Scott Swanson – Omaha Burke High School
  • Tyler Swanson – Omaha Burke High School
  • Amanda Vlcek – Millard South High School
  • Brady Weddum – Glenwood High School

We thank all of the outstanding students who applied for the award this year. The committee was impressed with the large number of exceptional applicants.

The recipients represent families from the Omaha Police Department, Omaha Fire Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Papillion Fire Department, Council Bluffs Police Department, and Crescent, IA Volunteer Fire Department.

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