City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
Fayette Fire Foundation Board of Directors

Featured Article

Fighting Fire Together

Support your local county firefighters by contributing to the Fayette Fire Foundation.

Pete Nelms is more than a former division fire chief with Fayette County Fire and Emergency Services; he is also a dreamer. For years, he dreamed of a way to continue contributing to the effort of making Fayette County a safer place by enhancing the fire and emergency medical services for the community. “Someday, we are going to have a fire foundation,” Nelms told his friend and retired Delta Airlines executive Marice Worth. In 2015, the two banded together to create just this by gathering several people in the community to form a new 501(c)(3) organization called Fayette Fire Foundation.

With the intent to increase the efficiency and safety of local firefighters, this non-profit embodies what it means to support those who support us. Vicki Turner, the current Chair, says, “What is more important in our community than helping save a life?” Completely volunteer-based to ensure all the donations go to the foundation’s mission, the foundation’s officers and board of directors are composed of six firefighters to help identify the department’s needs and nine people from the community to vote on fulfilling these needs. 

Many of the foundation’s officers have gone through the Citizen Fire Academy offered by Fayette County, a free 10-week program that places a civilian in the gear of a firefighter to see firsthand what they experience in their line of work. For those of a younger age, the foundation invested in the creation of a Fire Safety Bus. A school bus transformed to simulate a burning building, this bus travels throughout the county to different elementary schools and places such as Camp Southern Ground to educate children on what to do during a similar situation in real life.

“We support the heroes that keep us safe in the community,” board member Joe Domaleski said. This support materializes in its ability to offer scholarships for firefighters to further their education at Southern Crescent and to purchase life-saving equipment to be used in every ambulance and engine. So far, the life-saving equipment purchased includes Lucas CPR devices, which are intended to wrap around a person in cardiac arrest to perform compressions; laryngoscopes, which go down the trachea to open the passageway; thermal imaging cameras, which allow firefighters to enter a burning building and find the civilians trapped inside; and a device that rolls up the fire hose electronically instead of manually.

When asked about the impact the foundation has on the department, Fire Chief Jeffrey Hill said, “The Fayette Fire Foundation continues to build lasting relationships with the members of this department and has provided many upgraded equipment purchases that make the firefighters’ job safer, which makes them more effective in their performance. The impact they have had on the individual firefighter and their career is immeasurable. Fayette Fire Foundation helps make Fayette County a safer place to live, work, and play.”

To get involved with the foundation, even if only to witness the magnificent things being done to support those who support the community, follow them on Facebook, register for the newsletter, donate via PayPal, or sign up for the Citizen’s Fire Academy on their website and swing by the Fire Safety Bus to say hello.

“What is more important in our community than helping save a life?”

  • Mary Catherine Domaleski dons turnout gear before putting out a fire during the Fayette County Citizen's Fire Academy. Husband, Joe, offers moral support.
  • Citizen's Fire Academy members
  • Fire Safety Bus and EMS Street Golf Cart
  • Celebrating at the Reel People Care Gala 2024
  • Fayette Fire Foundation Board of Directors
  • FFF was one of the nonprofits to benefit at the Reel People Care Gala 2024