CFD launches disaster assistance program


The Crawfordsville Fire Department is launching a new community program called the Disaster Assistance Program.

This initiative is a collaborative effort to build a community fund that will provide access to disaster recovery service for Montgomery County residents who experience loss after a devastating fire or other disaster.

Often, a residential fire or disaster leads to total property loss or property damage that is beyond occupancy or use. Victims must contact their insurance company to get assistance in securing their property and other belongings until repairs can begin. If the loss occurs in the evening, on a weekend, or on a holiday the ability to reach an insurance company becomes more difficult. Additionally, most disaster victims have no idea who to call for help in boarding up doorways and windows for security or covering the roof to protect their belongings until insurance companies can arrive.

Recently, the CFD has been working with a disaster restoration company called PuroClean of Lafayette. Their local representative, Jessica Fishero, works with the CFD to provide on-site assistance to disaster victims in securing their property, covering roofs, boarding up windows and doors.

“I truly believe the Disaster Assistance Program has a tremendous opportunity to grow and serve the Crawfordsville community,” Fishero said. “Along with fire emergency service, PuroClean can provide emergency water mitigation services, tree removal and roof tarping to prevent further damage.”

PuroClean of Lafayette is then reimbursed by the insurance company. There are occasions when loss victims do not have insurance coverage, but still need assistance to start the recovery process. In these instances, PuroClean has been generous enough to lend their services and over 75-plus years combined experience with fire and emergency restoration, new home construction and insurance property claims, with the understanding they may not get reimbursed for said services.

Through the creation of a community fund, monies raised will allow the CFD to reimburse disaster restoration service providers who assist in those instances when a disaster victim suffers loss. The CFD has established the Disaster Assistance Program fund with the Montgomery County Community Foundation and generous contributions have already been made to the fund by Hoosier Heartland State Bank and Tri-County Bank & Trust.

“When Tri-County Bank learned that our local firefighters wanted to start a fund to help residents in the aftermath of a fire or storm, we knew we wanted to contribute and help them establish the fund with the Montgomery County Community Foundation,” said Steve McLaughlin, vice president of business development for Tri-County Bank & Trust. “Our community is definitely blessed to have such caring and dedicated firefighters working for the community and any help we can give them is the right thing to do.”

Tragedies can happen anytime, day or night, and insurance companies will typically provide immediate assistance when contacted but there are occasions when it may be necessary to use the Disaster Assistance Program to help community members in need until insurance can get involved.

“The Crawfordsville Fire Department would like to thank Jessica Fishero and her staff from PuroClean, Brad Monts from Hoosier Heartland State Bank, and Steve McLaughlin from Tri-County Bank for their generous donations to help get the Disaster Assistance Program started,” said Division Chief Brian Bechtel. “All of these individuals realize the importance of getting immediate assistance, and we are thankful for there was no hesitation with help to get this program started.”

To make a contribution, visit the Montgomery County Community Foundation donation page ( and search for the Disaster Assistance Fund or contact Division Chief Brian Bechtel at