By Brent Tucker, Founder and Owner — First Responder’s Coffee Company
When I retired from the service as a Green Beret and Delta Force Operator, friends called on me to help them train SWAT teams all over the country. Through them, I started to get involved in training law enforcement as well.
It was through these training sessions that I experienced firsthand the impact that underfunded programs have on our society, especially when it comes to first responders. These men and women risk their lives every day to protect and serve our communities, yet many struggle to get the resources they need to do their jobs effectively.
The problem: lack of resources and funding
One of the biggest issues facing first responders today is the lack of resources and funding available to them. Many departments are operating on shoestring budgets, meaning they may not have access to the equipment, training, or personnel they need to respond to emergencies effectively. This can put both first responders and the public in danger.
Furthermore, underfunded programs can also have a negative impact on the mental health of first responders. The nature of their jobs means that they are often exposed to traumatic events and situations, which can take a toll on their mental well-being. Without the proper resources and support, these men and women may not get the help they need to cope with the stress and trauma of their jobs.
The importance of First Responder’s Coffee Company
As someone who has a deep respect and appreciation for the work that first responders do, it is important to me to make a difference, which is why I started First Responder’s Coffee Company (FRCC). Our mission is to support and honor first responders by providing the general public with high-quality coffee and other products, while also raising funds to support underfunded programs for first responders.
Through our coffee sales and partnerships with other organizations, we have been able to raise thousands of dollars for first responder charities and programs. For example, we recently launched a new bag of coffee to help further support The American Nurses Foundation by donating a portion of each sale to the Foundation. This funding has gone towards equipment, training, and mental health resources that are crucial for nurses and other first responders to do their jobs safely and effectively.
Make a difference
While FRCC has been a great business to help raise awareness and funds, it’s not enough — it is important for others to get involved and help make a difference for first responders in their own communities. Here are a few ways that you can help:
- Buy from companies that support first responders — By supporting businesses that donate a portion of their profits to first responder charities, you are helping to fund the programs that these men and women need to do their jobs effectively.
- Volunteer your time or resources — Many first responder charities and programs rely on volunteers to help with fundraising, events, and other activities. By donating your time or resources, you can make a difference in the lives of these brave men and women.
- Advocate for increased funding — Contact your local representatives and advocate for increased funding for first responder programs. Let them know that these men and women are crucial to the safety and well-being of our communities and that they deserve the resources and support they need to do their jobs effectively. In fact, Congressman Andy Kim introduced the Supporting our First Responders Act that would add $50 million in federal EMS grants. This act will help increase the number of trained EMS responders which would then help them take the time they need to recover from traumatic experiences. It would also provide necessary facilities, resources, and training. While this act hasn’t been approved yet, it’s important for you to contact your local representative stating that you want to push for its approval.
- Say thank you — One of the simplest but most impactful ways to support first responders is to simply say thank you. Take the time to express your gratitude for the work that they do, and let them know that their efforts are appreciated.
When I set out to support first responders, I didn’t want to ask others for money or become rich in the process. I care deeply about my brothers in law enforcement and other first responders and I wanted to find a way to help them other than offering up training which doesn’t help everyone. With FRCC, I can make a greater impact because I can get them the money they need for the resources and training they deserve as the heroes that selflessly serve us day in and day out.
— Brent Tucker is the founder and owner of First Responder’s Coffee Company. He served as both a Green Beret and a Delta Force operator during his career. He is a purple heart recipient with 13 combat deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and more. Brent Tucker started First Responder’s Coffee Company after training first responders and seeing first-hand the budgetary restraints and lack of resources. He also wanted the community to have an outlet to show their support for these brave men and women.