Paul Davis Restoration Of Omaha Gives Back to First Responders

The First Responders Foundation is honored to be inducting Paul Davis Restoration of Omaha into the Ancient Order of the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael at the 7th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 11, 2023. 

Paul Davis Restoration of Omaha is a full-service residential and commercial emergency cleanup and restoration for disasters of all sizes. If your property is damaged, Paul Davis of Omaha will respond to the call and provide instant cleanup services 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Their goal is to answer calls within 30 minutes and arrive at the scene prepared to take care of damage in less than four hours.

They know that fast action is the key in emergency situations. They are household and commercial business disaster “first responders” who work closely with local law enforcement and fire departments to provide cleanup and restoration services. Paul Davis Restoration also provides property damage cleanup and emergency relief services no matter what the disaster or the size including storm, water, and fire damage restoration, mold removal, and constant cleaning. 

Paul Davis Restoration Of Omaha Gives Back to First Responders

For over 37 years, Paul Davis of Omaha has earned the reputation as the best in the business. As part of a national franchise network since 1966, there are more than 350 locations across North America and they are the leading insurance restoration franchise in North America.

Since its inception, Paul Davis of Omaha has restored over 30,000 lives through knowledge, ongoing training, and dedication to their Core Mission Statement; ‘To provide extraordinary care while serving people in their time of need.’ The aftermath of a disaster that has affected your home, business, or property is most often stressful and traumatic. Paul Davis of Omaha returns people back to their property as soon as possible.

The team leader and General Manager, Mike Buckley has been with the company for 15 years and GM since 2020. His many roles and involvement in large jobs have resulted in the creation of valuable company-wide processes, safety, and many divisional changes allowing for continued growth. Mike’s goal is to have a team of individuals who enjoy working together and are focused on the company’s mission, vision, and core values. From what we at the Foundation see and experience he is doing just that. An outstanding group of professionals who get the job done and have a lot of fun at the same time.

Accepting the award along with Mike is Business Development Manager, Cindy Gessert. Cindy has been in the emergency services and restoration industry for 20 years. She is a Certified Continuing Education instructor and has completed IICRC Fire and Water Damage courses and holds Emergency Recovery Service and Lead Certifications.


Paul Davis Restoration of Omaha shared

“We believe in giving back to our community and especially those that we work with, our First Responders. We have a deep appreciation for the service they provide to our community on a daily basis. Because of that, we have partnered with the First Responders Foundation.”

The Paul Davis Team has shown tremendous support for first responders and the Foundation.The Paul Davis Team has shown tremendous support for first responders and the Foundation.

For many years as a corporate sponsor of our Guns & Hoses events and the 9/11 Luncheon, they have donated thousands of dollars to the Foundation. They have also held golf tournaments that raised awareness of the Foundation and funded over 70 individual students with a $500 Awards of Excellence scholarship for high school seniors who are children of first responders totaling $33,000. Paul Davis Team members often attend events when other organizations support us as well. Their dedication and commitment to the Foundation in so many ways is exceedingly appreciated. 

Over the years Paul Davis of Omaha has supported many other organizations including:

Nebraska Humane Society, Town & Country Humane Society, USMC Toys for Tots, American Red Cross Blood Mobile, Salvation Army Adopt-a-Family, Diaper Drive, School Supply Drive for Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Foodbank for the Heartland, and The Furniture Project.

For more information on Paul Davis Restoration of Omaha click here.

For tips on what to do in the event of a disaster and disaster preparation click here.

More about the Ancient Order of the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael click here.

For more about the Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor click here.


Joe Ricketts Supports First Responders, Education, Conservation, Art & More

The First Responders Foundation is honored to be inducting Mr. Joe Ricketts into the Ancient Order of the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael at the 7th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 11, 2023. 

J. Joe Ricketts founded the brokerage Ameritrade

A pioneer in the use of technology to revolutionize the financial services sector, J. Joe Ricketts founded the brokerage Ameritrade, a securities industry leader that empowered self-directed investors with innovative investment tools and training.

After graduating from Creighton University in 1968 with an economics degree, Mr. Ricketts began his professional career first as a branch manager at Dun & Bradstreet, then as a registered representative with Dean Witter. In 1975, he co-founded First Omaha Securities, a retail securities brokerage firm in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Charles Schwab Corporation acquired TD Ameritrade for approximately $26 billion

Mr. Ricketts recognized that featuring negotiated commissions would allow the firm to take advantage of the newly deregulated discount securities market. Under Mr. Ricketts’ leadership, First Omaha Securities grew quickly and, through the use of innovative technology and marketing, evolved into Ameritrade, which managed hundreds of billions of dollars in client assets. In 2020, The Charles Schwab Corporation acquired TD Ameritrade for approximately $26 billion, combining the firms into one of the largest global financial powerhouses with approximately $6 trillion in client assets.

Omaha Opportunity Education Joe Ricketts Supports First Responders, Education, Conservation, Art & More

The Foundation thanks Mr. Ricketts for supporting first responders and their families and the Foundation. On September 25, 2021, Mr. Joe Ricketts/Straight Arrow News hosted Omaha’s Rally for the Responders. This day was dedicated to those who put our city first during a time like no other. It was a day to celebrate first responders, firefighters, police officers, EMTs, nurses, and doctors who showed us what courage and duty are all about during the COVID pandemic.

The Rally was the ultimate thank-you party for First Responders

They cared for the citizens of our community, protected us, and kept our city going. The Rally was filled with live music, food, exotic horses, first responder vehicles, carnival games, and fireworks. The Foundation had a booth where people wrote notes of thanks to first responders and children drew pictures of appreciation. It was held at TD Ameritrade Park and it was 100% free. It was an extraordinary and extravagant, one-of-a-kind day and event. To say the least first responders and their families felt the appreciation.

Mr. Ricketts/Straight Arrow News made a difference in the lives of first responders and their families. Making a difference is not something unusual when it comes to Joe Ricketts. Since 2008, Mr. Ricketts has devoted himself to a variety of entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures, including: 

Opportunity Education Foundation

Opportunity Education Foundation is a charitable foundation with the mission of developing and supporting life-changing learning programs for young adults worldwide.

This provides young people worldwide with educational resources to succeed in life, today and tomorrow. Today’s world is dynamic, connected, and changing, raising new questions all the time. For students to succeed, they need more than fixed answers — they need the ability to keep growing and adapting to the world they find. Quest Forward Learning, the curriculum of Opportunity Education, activates lifelong curiosity in each student, cultivating the mindset, essential habits, and skills to succeed in life and work. Success isn’t about answering old questions. It’s about seeing opportunities to create value and having the skills to do so — for yourself, for your community, and for the world.

Quest Forward Academies

Quest Forward Academies are high schools designed around active, student-centered learning using projects, reflection, and rich feedback to help students learn and grow. There is a Quest Forward Academy in Omaha.

The Cloisters on the Platte Foundation

The Cloisters on the Platte Foundation established in 2017 offers 3-day silent retreats to men and women of all faiths. 

More than twenty years ago, Joe Ricketts attended a Jesuit retreat in Minnesota that changed his life. In the midst of a demanding career, his first silent weekend of reflection and study revealed what mattered most to him: family, morality, and honesty. Attending a yearly Jesuit retreat has been a staple of his spiritual life ever since.

The Cloisters Platte FoundationMr. Ricketts had long dreamed of making the Jesuit retreat experience available to more people. The Cloisters on the Platte is the realization of that dream. Mr. Ricketts personally funded the Foundation’s construction of the retreat property. Ongoing operations are funded through a combination of donations by retreatants (free will offerings), donations by people visiting the Stations of the Cross, and product sales. The Cloisters on the Platte Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors.

The Cloisters on the Platte Retreat Center retreats are based on the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, who lived from 1491 to 1556. During his lifetime, St. Ignatius composed a brief set of meditations, prayers, and mental exercises to be used by men and women seeking to discern God’s will in their lives. Every year, The Cloisters brings the power of quiet reflection to people seeking spiritual renewal. 

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the CrossThe Stations of the Cross located at the Retreat Center are accessible without attending a retreat. Walk the length of the Stations of the Cross and you will have covered the 2,500 steps Jesus Christ took from Jerusalem to his crucifixion. Life-size bronze statues tell the story of Jesus’ path to his death. Each stop along the path includes an audio description of the events leading from his sentence of death by Pontius Pilate to his entombment.

The bronze statues stand about seven feet tall and were created by 10 artists from around the United States. The Stations of the Cross are the only area of the retreat open to the public. As you walk along the route, you’ll notice the beauty of the area, with treelined rolling hills. 

Ricketts Conservation Foundation

The Ricketts Conservation Foundation was founded by Joe Ricketts to support the conservation of wildlife and wilderness areas, promoting the importance of environmental stewardship as an enduring value. Central to Mr. Ricketts’ belief is the idea that conservation is everyone’s responsibility. In a world facing increasingly complex environmental challenges, private sector resources play an ever-greater role in the conservation of wildlife and wilderness areas. By answering this need, and encouraging others to do the same, the Ricketts Conservation Foundation aims to make a difference in the quality of life enjoyed by future generations.

Ricketts Art Foundation

The Ricketts Art Foundation was founded to enrich people’s lives by providing innovative access to the works of important visual, performing, and literary artists, both current and past. As its first project, The Foundation partnered with The Buffalo Bill Center of the West and the Museum of Mountain to create The Alfred Jacob Miller Online Catalogue.

Straight Arrow News

In June of 2021, Mr. Ricketts launched Straight Arrow News. Straight Arrow News is committed to fair, factual, unbiased journalism and political commentary that encourages viewers to make up their own minds. By approaching every issue from an objective, middle ground and highlighting underreported stories, the aim is to empower people with context and facts. 

Mr. Ricketts owns:

Village Pie Maker

The Village Pie Maker pies are handcrafted in small batches with care and attention to every detail using premium quality fruit with fillings made from scratch—never from a can. The buttery, flaky crust is gently rolled and then crimped by hand. The delicious “take and bake” frozen fruit pies can be found nationwide in many local grocery stores and markets.

High Plains Bison

From mouth-watering bison burgers and sausages to tender, hand-cut bison steaks, High Plains Bison offers a wide variety of premium bison products that are easy to prepare and great for grilling. 

Mr. Ricketts is also the author of the book

The Harder You Work, the Luckier You Get An Entrepreneur’s Memoir (2019).

Simon and Shuster shares,

“Joe Ricketts always had the gift of seeing what others missed. The son of a house builder, he started life as a part-time janitor, but by the age of thirty-three, he saw the chance to challenge the big brokerage firms by offering Americans an inexpensive way to take control of their own stock trading. Nowadays, we take for granted that Main Street is playing right there on Wall Street, but Ricketts made that happen. His company, begun with $12,500 borrowed from friends and family, took off like a rocket thanks to an early embrace of digital technology and irreverent marketing. But Ameritrade also faced a series of near-disasters: the SEC almost shut him down; his partners tried to force him out because of his relentless risk-taking; penny brokers swindled the company; the crash of 1989 nearly cost him everything; and he was almost shut down again when a customer committed massive fraud. By the time of the dot-com bust, he had proven that his strategy based on frontier values could survive just about anything.”

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Mr. Ricketts and his wife of more than 60 years have four children and fourteen grandchildren.

Omaha’s Rally for the Responders

The Foundation again thanks Mr. Ricketts for his support of the Foundation and first responders and for hosting Omaha’s Rally for the Responders. It was the ultimate thank-you party for First Responders.

We sincerely thank him for all he has done and continues to do to make a difference for people in our local community and throughout the world.

For more information on the Ancient Order of the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael click here.

More information on the Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor click here.

For more pictures from Omaha’s Rally for the Responders visit our Facebook page here.


Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits/Makers Mark Support First Responders

The First Responders Foundation is honored to be inducting Maker’s Mark & Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits into the Ancient Order of the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael at the 7th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 11, 2023. Accepting the award from Maker’s Mark will be Katie Ruhga and from Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits will be Jeremy Kirby. 

Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits/Makers

Maker’s Mark began with one family’s quest to create a bourbon they enjoyed drinking and sharing with friends. Bill Samuels Sr. developed the world’s first premium bourbon and changed the industry.

Bill Samuels Sr.

In 1953 Bill Samuels Sr., the visionary, developed Maker’s Mark. This engineer-turned-craftsman elevated bourbon with his flavor vision. 

Margie Samuels, the creative soul, created packaging that would honor her husband’s handmade bourbon. The look that is now known worldwide, the shape of the bottle, the label, the signature red wax, and even the Maker’s Mark name are all thanks to Margie. Margie is also credited for inventing bourbon tourism. 

Bill Samuels Jr., the innovator, brought the brand from a Kentucky favorite to an American icon. His pioneering wood stave finishing process, used to create Maker’s 46, set the course for Maker’s Mark innovation. This innovative process starts with a fully matured Maker’s Mark at cask strength.  A selection of ten custom-cooked wood staves are inserted into the barrel for an additional aging period in the climate-controlled limestone cellar.  

Maker’s Mark

Maker’s Mark is still located on the beautiful Star Hill Farm in Loretto, Kentucky where Bill and Margie started the distillery in 1953. Everyone at Maker’s Mark strives to make Star Hill Farm a sustainable, culturally rich, and endearing homeplace.

The limestone shelf where the distillery is located is key to crafting the unique taste of Maker’s Mark – the only distillery with its own water source and watershed. Kentucky limestone filters out iron from water, which is unpleasant in bourbon.

The pure calcium and magnesium-rich water surrounding the distillery makes better drinking water and a better sour mash in which yeast can flourish. Star Hill and the land surrounding the farm are full of diverse plants and wildlife. The natural resources all around help nourish and protect the water source.

Rob Samuels

Today 8th generation Rob Samuels is the Managing Director of the Maker’s Mark Distillery. Rob’s mission is to ensure every drop of Maker’s Mark is made the same way as the first drop while meeting the world’s ever-increasing demand.

Rob is very supportive of first responders and in particular the First Responders Foundation. Maker’s Mark has created signature bourbon to support the Foundation and our mission to serve first responders, veterans, and their families. The bourbon has been extremely popular and has sold out immediately. To show his support and appreciation for the Foundation and first responders Rob created this video:

First Responder’s Foundation

Maker’s Mark got involved with the First Responders Foundation through Katie Ruhga and Jeremy Kirby. Katie works for Maker’s Mark/Beam Suntory and has been in the alcohol beverage industry for over 18 years both as a distributor and supplier. Jeremy works for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits and has been in the industry for over 28 years. 

Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits was created when two companies merged in 2016 to become the world’s largest alcohol distributor. 1909 was the beginning of Glazer with Jumbo Bottling Co. distributing flavored soda from a horse-drawn wagon. That continued until 1933 with the repeal of Prohibition when Louis Glazer and his three sons started Glazer’s Wholesale Distributors and began distributing Schlitz Beer. 

Harvey ChaplinHarvey Chaplin

Harvey Chaplin, the founder of Southern Wine & Spirits, began his career in 1946 working for Schenley Industries in Manhattan, a leading distilled spirits marketer, and American importer.

Harvey’s son Wayne joined Southern Wine & Spirits in 1984 and the company became the first distributor to gain a statewide network in California. In 1992 Southern Wine & Spirits became the largest U.S. beverage alcohol wholesaler.

Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits builds on its multigenerational heritage. Team members think and act like owners while treating each other with respect, camaraderie, and transparency. Integrity, intellect, and ingenuity guide their decisions and relationships with suppliers, customers, and each other.

In 2017, Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits established the Youth Alcohol Awareness & Education Foundation, Inc., devoted to the prevention of underage drinking. In 2022 they were included in “Forbes” list of Best Employees for Diversity 2022.

Making an Impact

Katie and Jeremy wanted to do something to give back to their local community. Both of their organizations do great things nationally but they wanted to do something that would make an impact in the Omaha metro area. They are both very passionate about those who serve and protect, those who put others’ needs first, veterans, and first responders.

When they started the program in 2021 to help the Foundation our nation was filled with riots, political wars, and protesting, including protesting in Omaha. To do something to make a difference, and to be part of the solution, Katie and Jeremy wanted to create and distribute a bourbon, especially for first responders and the Foundation.

Working together Katie and Jeremy started the process of creating First Responders Foundation bourbon. Al Batschelet, CEO, and Todd Sears, President had the honor and privilege of customizing the flavor profile that would be used in the bourbon.

They toured the farm while making the selections. Then the wait began for the additional two to three months before the bourbon would be ready for bottling. Maker’s Mark created the bourbon and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirit distributed it. Maker’s Mark has released two Private Select Barrels of First Responders Foundation Bourbon and we are anxiously awaiting the third release this fall.

Our sincere thanks to everyone at Maker’s Mark and Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits for supporting the First Responders Foundation. Special thanks to Jeremy and Katie for making it happen through their appreciation of first responders and wanting to give back to their local communities. 


JeremyJeremy was in the  Army Reserves from 1991-1997. He has many friends and fraternity brothers who are in law enforcement in Omaha, Kansas City, and Las Vegas. He and his wife Holly live in Omaha. They have two daughters Regan and Rian. Rian’s husband Andrew works at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. He and Rian are the parents of Romyn, Jeremy’s first grandchild. Jeremy and his family are always looking for ways to give back to the community.



Katie, who grew up on a farm and loves to visit Loretto, Kentucky, the homeplace, lives in Gretna. She and her husband Mark have three children, Preston in elementary school, and Madison and Makenna who are pursuing careers in medical service fields. Katie is proud that other states are now working with Maker’s Mark to replicate the program started by her and Jeremy. 

Certified B Corporations

We congratulate Maker’s Mark for achieving B Corp Certification last December. They are the largest distillery in the world to achieve B Corp Certification and the first distillery in Kentucky’s Bourbon County.

Certified B Corporations are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

This makes a significant and globally relevant milestone on the brand’s broader vision to “Make Your Mark, Leave No Trace”. Maker’s Mark leads the spirits industry in innovative environmental efforts that include the largest repository of American White Oak trees in the world.

A first-of-its-kind genome mapping project of the American White Oak and the establishment of a regenerative farming practice.

Maker’s Mark hosts a variety of tours that are open to the public. Learn more about Maker’s Mark by clicking here.  You can become an ambassador of Maker’s Mark, or enroll in their direct-to-consumer program as well.

For more about Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits click here.

For more about the Ancient Order of the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael click here.

For more about the 7th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor click here.

Tim Burke shares “A story of a first responder family”

The First Responders Foundation is honored to be inducting Timothy J. Burke into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael at the 7th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 11, 2023.

Tim has been a long-time supporter of first responders and of the Foundation. Tim is the keynote speaker for this years First Responders Foundations 9/11 Luncheon of Honor where his speech is titled  “A Story of a First Responder Family”

Tim recently retired as the President and CEO of OPPD.

Timothy J. Burke joined OPPD in April 1997 as vice president. He served as vice president of Customer Service & Public Affairs, overseeing Customer Service Operations, Customer Sales & Service, Customer Strategy, Economic Development, Safety & Technical Training, Corporate Marketing & Communications, Operations Analysis, Governmental Affairs, and Environmental & Regulatory Affairs. In May 2015, he became president and CEO. He retired last summer.

His local and industry board affiliations include:

  • American Public Power Association
  • Large Public Power Council
  • Nebraska Power Association
  • Business Ethics Alliance Trustee
  • Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce
  • United Way of the Midlands – past Chair of the Board and he and his wife Terri were the chairs of the 2022 United Way of the Midlands Campaign
  • Partnership for Our Kids
  • StratCom Consultation Committee
  • Offutt Air Force Base Advisory Council
  • Air Force Global Strike Command Civic Leader Program
  • Nebraska Blue Print Steering Committee
  • Papillion First Responders Foundation Chapter Board of Directors in 2021

Burke holds a Master’s degree from Drake University and a Bachelor’s degree from Buena Vista University. He is married to Terri Burke. They have three sons who are married, as well as seven grandchildren.  

We look forward to hearing Tim speak at the luncheon and to honoring him for all he has done for first responders.

For tickets to the luncheon click here.

For more information on the Ancient Order of the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael click here.


Guns & Hoses Hockey Challenge – this Sunday!

 Sunday is the big day –
Guns & Hoses Hockey Challenge ON ICE!
Baxter Arena March 19, at 3 PM

Come watch local police and firefighters compete in the Guns & Hoses Hockey Challenge for a good cause, to support the First Responders Foundation!

Bring the family out to cheer on our First Responders and enjoy an epic event with lots of fun scheduled on AND off the ice! There will be a Kid Zone, cool first responder vehicles, K9s, vendors, a Chuck-A-Puck break activity, awesome raffles, and more! 

Need Tickets?
The box office opens at 12:00 on Sunday
or click here to purchase now!

  • Baxter Arena has a Clear Bag Policy & concessions are credit card ONLY.
  • Bring cash! Raffle tickets and chuck-a-pucks will be available for purchase in the main concourse.
  • Look for directional signage – fans are encouraged to sit behind the team they’re rooting for!
  • Make signs to cheer on your favorite team or player!


Meet the 2023 FIRE TEAM – TEAM RED

Team Red includes firefighters from Omaha, Council Bluffs, Offutt, Lincoln, Waterloo, and Grand Island, and has a combined 269 years of service.

  • # 27 – (Captain) Derek Panneton  – Omaha Fire Department
  • #6 – (Asst Captain) Chris Sorensen – Council Bluffs Fire Department
  • #1 – (Asst Captain) Allen Weberg – Omaha Fire Department
  • #71 – Zach Mass – Omaha Fire Department
  • #69 – TJ Wurth – Omaha Fire Department
  • #39 – Matt Hill – Omaha Fire Department
  • #18 – TJ Korpela – Omaha Fire Department
  • #12 – Kevin Meschede  – Omaha Fire Department
  • #21 – Pat Driscoll – Omaha Fire Department
  • #8 – Jon Kava – Omaha Fire Department
  • #7 – Scott Fitzpatrick – Omaha Fire Department
  • #14 – Ryan Hoffman – Offutt Air Force Base Fire Department
  • #15 – Josh Ballain– Council Bluffs Fire Department
  • #5 – Chad Wheeler – Council Bluffs Fire Department
  • #23 – Neal Hoevet  – Council Bluffs Fire Department
  • #9 – Nick Mckenzie – Omaha Fire Department
  • #10 – Ryan Cyboron  – Grand Island Fire Department
  • #29 – Alex Duling  Eppley Fire Department
  • #37 – Brady Krajeski  Ralston Fire Department
  • #47 – Mike Morton Jr Waterloo Fire Department
  • Jordan Wright Lincoln Fire Department


Team Blue includes law enforcement from 8 different metro-area agencies, and has a combined 188 of years of service.

  • #13 – Anthony DeSciscio (Captain) – Omaha Police Department
  • #92 – Jason Miller – Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office
  • #64 – Benjamin Nguyen – Nebraska State Patrol
  • #24 – Ryan Fitz – Omaha Police Department
  • #6 – Tom Shaffer  – Omaha Police Department
  • #18 – Brett WAGNER  – Omaha Police Department
  • #50 – Nick Palmer – Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office
  • #17 – Mike Borman – Nebraska State Probation
  • #34 – Brandon Shelton – MCC Police Department
  • #29 – Mark Kable – Morgantown Police Department  
  • #90 – Jacob Mikesell – Sarpy County Sheriff’s Probation 
  • #21 – James Grasmick – Omaha Police Department 
  • #43 – Brandom Ozuman – Omaha Police Department 
  • #44 – Jon Sears – Lincoln Police Department 
  • #11 – Bill Stenneche – Douglas County Corrections 
  • #2 – Pat Scheifla – Douglas County Corrections 
  • #16 – Matt Backora – Omaha Police Department

Thank you to our Guns & Hoses Premier Sponsors.

Clocks & Smoke/CO Detectors

The Omaha Fire Department and First Responders Foundation work together for home safety.

Pictured here from OFD is BC Scott Fitzpatrick accepting a $1000 check from Physicians Mutual for the First Responders Foundation’s Home Safety Program. Special thanks to Physicians Mutual.

You’ve heard the saying spring forward and fall back. Daylight Savings Time began recently. Spring forward/fall back helps us remember when to set our clocks forward or back for Daylight Saving Time.  Everyone needs to change their clocks, so this is also a good time to check the batteries in your smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.  It’s a good idea to check to see that the detectors are in good working order at least twice a year.

Life span of 10 years

The Omaha Fire Department tells us that sometimes when a detector is altering without any smoke, it may be malfunctioning and need to be replaced or the batteries changed. Most smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have a life span of approximately 10 years. After 10 years it is a good idea to replace them. Some people are concerned with the cost of replacement, but remember replacing them is much cheaper than paying for physical damage after a fire and human life is irreplaceable.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

“Odor-less, taste-less, color-less, so you don’t even know,” said Scott Fitzpatrick, Omaha Fire Department, Battalion Chief. He’s talking about carbon monoxide, which can be produced by various utilities, including furnaces, space heaters and even ovens. “If you are going to run a generator, make sure it is outside, well-ventilated,” he said. “If you are going to warm up your car, make sure it is outside well-ventilated. Not in the garage.”

Continue reading “Clocks & Smoke/CO Detectors”

Omaha Steaks/Todd Simon Show Appreciation To First Responders & Veterans With Steaks

The First Responders Foundation is honored to be inducting Omaha Steaks/Todd Simon into the Ancient Order of the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael at the 6th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 9, 2022.

A Century of Support

For more than 100 years, Omaha Steaks has delivered exceptional experiences that bring people together. That mission extends beyond the company’s core business and shapes the way Omaha Steaks and its employees engage with the community. 

From community partnerships to volunteering and in-kind support, serving others and bringing people together with a spirit of generosity is a fundamental part of the company’s identity. The Simon family and Omaha Steaks believe that active and engaged businesses have an important role to play in building strong, sustainable, and thriving communities. 

Since 1917, Omaha Steaks has earned a reputation for its commitment to charitable causes that enhance the lives of others. Support for the arts and civic and military organizations in Omaha and across the country is a Simon family tradition that forms the foundation the company was built upon. Fighting food insecurity, supporting the arts, and giving back to the courageous first responders and military members who protect our communities is how Omaha Steaks invests on a local and national level to improve people’s lives. 

Omaha Steaks Partners with Organizations that Support First Responders and Veterans 

Continue reading “Omaha Steaks/Todd Simon Show Appreciation To First Responders & Veterans With Steaks”

Tim & Mary McAlpine start JAVELAN

The First Responders Foundation is honored to be inducting Tim and Mary McAlpine into the Ancient Order of the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael at the 6th Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 9, 2022.

Tim and Mary are two of the founders of JAVELAN which is now a successful program of the First Responders Foundation. JAVELAN provides funding for the training of service dogs, often assists recipients in obtaining service dogs (as much as possible rescue dogs), and provides service dog trainers. Named after a special service dog “Jack”, with the full acronym: Jack, Assisting Veterans Enjoying Life Again.

A Partnership For Growth

The McAlpine’s partnership with The First Responders Foundation began in 2019 when Tim met Al Batschelet, First Responders Foundation CEO.  JAVELAN was a highly successful, albeit small non-profit organization funding the training for military veterans to obtain service dogs. A very unique organization of volunteers, using the Community Model for training service dogs. The Community Model is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community engagement with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience. JAVELAN uses this model by having the recipient of the service dog assist in all aspects of the training. Many times service dogs are trained in multiple areas in anticipation of what may be needed. This hands-on approach ensures that the service dog is trained specifically for the needs of the recipient. The training is done by a certified trainer who is teaching the recipient along with the service dog. The dog lives with the recipient while being trained. The respect and love bonds develop quickly with this approach as well.

In 2019 JAVELAN reached its potential as a total volunteer organization and needed professional involvement to continue the rapid growth. With over 30% of first responders former or current military veterans, the First Responders Foundation was the perfect fit to provide professional oversight and support to assure the continued growth of JAVELAN.

Continue reading “Tim & Mary McAlpine start JAVELAN”

Unique L.E. Team Spends Days & Some Nights in High School. 

Oakley with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) is a “Single Purpose” K9. He and his handler Deputy Ken Paulison spend their days at Elkhorn North High School. Oakley and Deputy Paulison assist the teachers and the administration as needed at the school. Deputy Paulison handles any criminal needs on campus but states that most situations can be handled by the administration. As a team, they play an even more important role, one that Oakley doesn’t even know about, and that is “therapy dog” team for the staff and students. It is not uncommon to see a crowd of students sitting on the floor around Oakley, with him lying on his back or side taking in all the attention. Deputy Pauilson loves to see the students smile and laugh while interacting with Oakley

Continue reading “Unique L.E. Team Spends Days & Some Nights in High School. “

Guns & Hoses ON ICE!

Guns & Hoses is back and this time on ICE – March 20th!

Join us for the next Red vs. Blue, Guns & Hoses Hockey Challenge. This entertaining, family-friendly competition skates into Baxter Arena on 3/20/22 at 3PM! Come watch local police and firefighters compete in hockey for a good cause, to support the First Responders Foundation!

Local heroes have been competing in the rink over the past 15 years.

While local heroes have been competing in the rink over the past 15 years, this will be the first time teams are coming together to support the First Responders Foundation, which works to serve and honor all our First Responders, Veterans, and their families, build appreciation and respect for their work, and enhance public safety.

Family friendly event.

Bring the family out to cheer on our First Responders and enjoy an epic event with lots of fun scheduled on AND off the ice! There will be a Kid Zone, cool first responder vehicles, Alley the Arson Dog and other K9s, vendors, a Chuck-A-Puck break activity, awesome raffles and more!

Guns & Hoses Tickets!

Tickets are just $12 and are On Sale Now! Click here to purchase tickets.

Guns & Hoses T-shirts and Hoodies!

What about Guns & Hoses Merch?

Yes – we have T-shirts and Hoodies On Sale Now For A Limited Time! 

We have partnered with Trezenbold to offer limited edition Guns & Hoses t-shirts and hoodies. Stock up on on your Team Blue, Team Red, or Team Neutral Gear. 

The last day to purchase Guns & Hoses merch is Monday, February 21st. 

Place your order now and pick-up during the event at Baxter Arena on 3/20 between 2-4pm. Or pick up here at the First Responders Foundation Wellness Center on 3/14, 3/15, or 3/16 between 9am-4pm at 10605 Burt Circle.
Click here to order T-shirts and Hoodies now!

The Red and Blue Teams will include first responders from the following departments:

Omaha Fire Department, Council Bluffs Fire Department, Offutt Air Force Base Fire Department, Grand Island Fire Department, Douglas County Corrections, Omaha Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol, Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office, United States Air Force, Council Bluffs Police Department, Nebraska Parole, United States Marine Corps, and more

The rosters for each team will be revealed soon!

Special thanks to our Guns & Hoses Sponsors!