The Battle Creek Fire Department and Victory Life Church have rekindled a collaboration to provide After-Fire Packs to residents who need support immediately after a fire.
The packs provide a one-night stay at one of several area hotels, a restaurant gift card, and a store gift card, all for immediate needs. This will give those who have suffered the tragedy of a fire the time to regroup and seek additional support from family, friends, and agencies like the American Red Cross.
City fire crews first provided these packs several years ago, when fire Capt. Derek Malone was Victory Life’s youth pastor and Pastor James Sunnock was the Fire Department chaplain. The two, along with fire Capt. Chris Love, developed the idea for the After-Fire Packs, since often there is a short time between the fire incident and the arrival of Red Cross volunteers.
“This is a great support provided to the citizens of Battle Creek, and a service that we can provide after a fire, when we are helping our citizens in a time of crisis,” said Battalion Chief Martin Erskine. “It doesn’t replace the things they lost, but it lets them know that Victory Life Church and the Battle Creek Fire Department care about them.”
A lapse in providing the packs occurred when Sunnock no longer served as fire chaplain, but the Fire Department and Victory Life recently made contact and determined there was still interest in the relationship and providing the packs. In early November, the church provided eight packs to start, which the Fire Department will distribute.