First Responder Grant Program
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About the program
Training is an integral part of The Rattlesnake Conservancy's community programs. Many small communities do not have dedicated wildlife trappers, and those who do often do not receive training in handling venomous snakes. In small communities, law enforcement officers, paramedics, and firefighters often have to wear multiple hats - sometimes that hat being removing rattlesnakes or other venomous reptiles from situations where they come in close proximity to people's homes, children, and pets.
Along with having to perform "other duties as assigned", small towns often have little or no budget to send first responders to training beyond what is required. However, the TRC team feels strongly that these small towns are where officers can make the most difference and encourage a culture of safety and conservation of venomous reptiles.
To help make this grant program happen, TRC has started a partnership with local organizations to fund training for these first responders. Those first responders that are sponsored by organizations are enrolled in our Level 1 Venomous Handling Course at no-cost to the officers or their departments. We also work with our partner organizations to provide equipment free of charge.
Looking for information on training?
Check out information about our handling and training courses below!
Does TRC offer safety presentations?
Yes! The Rattlesnake Conservancy will do safety presentations for communities, organizations, classrooms, or other individuals. Contact us for more info!
Does TRC do educational programs?
Absolutely! We love to go to classrooms or other venues to educate people about snakes!
The First Responder Grant Program first began as a partnership between Georgia Reptile Society (GRS) and The Rattlesnake Conservancy. Collaboratively, we realized the need for training first responders in rural areas of Georgia and GRS approached our organization to begin incorporating officers from all over the state into our training programs. The first class of first responders came from Paulding County Sheriff's Office and attended our training course in February 2019.
Since the beginning of the program, Santa Fe Audubon Society in Central Florida approached our team about sponsoring five firefighters per year in the greater Melrose area, which is located in rural towns between Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida.
Become a partner!
The First Responder Grant Program is only possible due to the generous donations of partner organizations and our supporters. Sponsorships can be made on behalf of individuals, corporations, communities, or organizations. To donate directly to the First Responder Grant Fund (FRGF), click the PayPal link below. Funds donated to the FRGF will be dispersed equally among first responder departments in Arizona, Florida, and Georgia (growing as we expand our training programs).
If you would prefer to donate directly to first responders in Arizona, Florida, or Georgia, you can select that after clicking the "Donate" button. Alternatively, if you have a specific community or department you would like to sponsor, please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Funds donated through the link below go directly to training first responders, not to other programs. The suggested donation amounts are the cost to sponsor 1 officer ($200), 3 officers ($600), and 5 officers ($1000). Even if you are unable to donate the full amount to sponsor one or more first responders, every dollar counts and when donations cumulatively add up, we will add one new first responder to the next course!.
Sign up your First Responder Department/Division
Interested in joining the team? Submit a request on behalf of your department to The Rattlesnake Conservancy and we will sign you up as a possible grant recipient! As of now, the program is only being fielded in Arizona, Florida, and Georgia. However, submit your departments from elsewhere so that we can see where the greatest areas of need are and expand our programs!
Fill out the form below!