First Responders

MAAC First Responder Training Facility

The Porter County Community Foundation awarded a grant to the Multi Agency Academic Cooperative (MAAC), an organization that provides training for area firefighters, police officers, and EMS personnel.

The MAAC Public Safety Training campus has been established on a 4 ½ acre parcel in Southeast Valparaiso.  This facility will house various training structures including a 40-foot search and rescue tower, a 2-story live burn building, vehicle extrication pad, indoor classrooms and more.  

“The goal is to make sure our first responders have the resources and training necessary to be prepared to respond to calls and come to our assistance on, what would likely be, one of our worst days,” says Celina Weatherwax, President of The McMillan Family Foundation Inc.  “Through a combination of classroom and practical, hands-on application, the MAAC Training campus will provide advanced levels of critical thinking and functioning in response to an emergency.”

“The Foundation is honored to play a part in the development of this essential facility,” says Bill Higbie, President & CEO of the Porter County Community Foundation. “This training space will directly impact thousands of first responders and will be a game-changer when it comes to training law enforcement officers, EMS personnel, and Firefighters who keep our community safe.”

Three Hebron Nonprofits Each Received Grant from Porter County Community Foundation

Recently, the Hebron Volunteer Fire Department, Rebuilding Together Hebron and Call-A-Ride each received a Community Fund grant from the Porter County Community Foundation.

Hebron Vol. Fire Department
Call A Ride Grant
Rebuilding Together Hebron Grant

The funding allowed the Hebron Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a Paratech Rescue Airbag system, designed to extricate victims who are trapped, and also purchase a Stearns Ice Rescue Suit which protects the first-responder during icy conditions and water rescues.  Rebuilding Together Hebron used the funds to purchase building materials for local project homes, and Call-A-Ride used the funds for fuel costs to continue the expansion of their free services to clients.

Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department Purchases Four Computers with Grant from Porter County Community Foundation

The Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department was awarded a Community Fund Grant from the Porter County Community Foundation. The grant funding allowed them to purchase four Panasonic Toughbook Computers.

Liberty Township Fire Department Grant

The new electronics will be securely placed in each of the department’s trucks, enhancing communication with the dispatch center and surrounding agencies.

These computers are capable of adapting to enhancements in the County’s 9-1-1 dispatch system and will help the fire department fulfill its mission to protect life, property and the environment.

: Porter County Community Foundation Presents Grants to Porter County Nonprofits

The Porter County Community Foundation recently awarded grants from its Community Fund to several nonprofit organizations. Grantees are selected through a competitive application process open to 501(c)(3) agencies serving Porter County.

F & Y Services Bureau Grant

The Family & Youth Services Bureau was awarded a grant that provided the necessary funds to have a new roof installed on their downtown Valparaiso building.  

The Independent Cat Society is a non-profit, cage-less, no-kill cat shelter that has promoted the welfare of all animals, especially cats, since 1976. In conjunction with the TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) Community Cat Clinic and local Porter County Veterinarians, the funds from the grant will help spay or neuter 100 cats or dogs in our community.  

PC Association for Handicapped Children & Adults

Porter County Association for Handicapped Children and Adults received funds to help make a difference and improve their clients’ daily lives.  With the funds, this organization can purchase custom devices necessary for individual clients that Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance won’t cover. This equipment will help children and adults enjoy everyday activities with their families in a more inclusive manner.

Porter-Starke used the funds to support their InSHAPE program that is designed to improve the physical health and wellness of people with mental illness. Participants met weekly, developed individual fitness plans, exercised, and learned about nutrition & healthy eating.  The YMCA partnered with Porter-Starke to help make this nationally-recognized program possible here in Porter County.

Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation received funds to bring a real-life storytelling event to Northwest Indiana’s Memorial Opera House, which was selected as the host site for all of Chicagoland. The performance, “This is My Brave”, is part of a national campaign to raise awarness of mental health issues.  

The Knights of Columbus’ Bike Project - founded by Mark Siminiski - received funds to purchase parts that will help repair donated bikes. These bikes are restored and then given away through various organizations to kids who may have only dreamed of having their own bike.    

The Portage Resale shop needed new furnaces for their building, which still had its original systems from the 1960’s.  With the community fund grant, the new heating system is in place allowing the organization to heat the building more efficiently and expand their work into areas of the building that were previously unusable.

Kouts Fire Department Grant

The Kouts Volunteer Fire Department received a Community Fund Grant to purchase eight new nozzles for this all-volunteer fire department. Replacing this critical equipment will enhance delivery of water in an emergency situation and creates uniformity of the nozzles on all five trucks.  The grant also enabled them to purchase a hose washer and two adapter valves.

The flooring in the activity & dining room of St. Agnes Adult Day Service Center was original to the building and had cracked and lifted after 19 years of wear and tear, resulting in a safety hazard for their clients and visitors. The new flooring is a non-slip surface that is level, and was purposefully chosen in a neutral color, allowing all participants to feel comfortable when entering the room.