Mission: To provide pre-positioned, specialized heavy equipment and experienced staff, free of charge, in the immediate wake of disasters. The team studies weather patterns and pre-positions near storm locations for the purpose of being an immediate source of help and hope to communities in need.
Programs: The team responded to the following 15 communities in 2017: 1. Hattiesburg, mississippi-tornado; 2. Petal, mississippi-tornado; 3. New orleans, louisana-tornado; 4. Stevens, pennsylvania-wind storm; 5. Perryville,missouri-tornado; 6. Eureka, missouri-flood; 7. Elk city, oklahoma-tornado; 8. Montgomery county, mississippi-tornado; 9. Holmes county, mississippi-tornado; 10. Aransas pass, texas-hurricane harvey; 11. Rockport, texas-hurricane harvey; 12. Houston, texas-hurricane harvey; 13. Bonita springs, florida-hurricane irma; 14. Naples, florida-hurricane irma; 15. Richmond, texas-hurricane harvey the team assisted communities in clearing roads, distributing supplies, digging through the rubble to find valuables and belongings, removing debris, and clearing homesites.
While first response team does good work for American citizens and I applaud them on their efforts and dedication, I can't condone the way in which the organization is managed.
I'll begin with their toys - in my experience, non-profits are usually desperate for needed equipment and they responsibly use incoming funds to meet their needs in the cheapest way possible. My first experience with First Response was seeing the outrageous fleet of vehicles they have, all shiny and new, painted black and branded with their logo. I thought the hovercraft was particularly unnecessary.
Not - I completely understand that they need equipment, but this looked more like a man and his toys than it did a non-profit trying to save people.
The second thing, which is available to the public through Guidestar and their federally filed 990, is that their CEO gets paid $250,000 annually. Even worse, in 2013, they paid him in excess of $900,000! I don't care how one attempts to justify that, for an organization just barely claiming revenue over 2M per annum, that is an outrageous, inappropriate and disrespectful use of a donor's money.