About the Foundation

About the First Responders Foundation

firefighters putting out fire

Police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line for us each and every day and face hardships that most of us will never have to know. They are the first people on the scene when an emergency strikes and willing to do whatever it takes to save and protect the people of our community.

We are the only foundation that focuses on all first responders and we partner directly with the region’s police and fire chiefs to serve and honor first responders and their families, build appreciation and respect for their work, and enhance public safety.

We accomplish our mission by:

  • Recognizing and show supporting for first responders
  • Creating and supporting unique programs and events designed to educate, inform and inspire
  • Providing material and equipment donations to First Responders
  • Supporting First Responders and their families in handling job-related stress, trauma​ and unique health challenges.
  • Partnering with fire departments to prevent in-home tragedies and keep children, families, and the elderly safe in their homes by installing home safety equipment such as carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and safety railings
  • Honoring and supporting the officers and firefighters on four legs: the K-9 Unit, Alley the Arson Dog, and Mounted Patrol Unit
  • Giving low-income, at-risk children the opportunity to be influenced in a positive way through youth athletics
  • ​Recognizing and acknowledging the sons and daughters of First Responders with awards of excellence, citizen scholarships
  • Organizing events that inspire the community

Won’t you join us in our mission?

Programs and Data


police in the communityOur History & Vision

The First Responders Foundation has grown into the area’s premier nonprofit in supporting First Responders. We focus efforts on fundraising, programming, and events that support our mission to serve and honor first responders and their families, build appreciation and respect for their work, and enhance public safety.

The First Responders Foundation is rooted in 9/11 remembrance, and was conceived during a discussion between founders Ray Somberg and Jerry Hoberman in 2008 when they reflected on how First Responders are often taken for granted until tragedy strikes. They decided to create a nonprofit organization centered around police and firefighter appreciation and support.

Our vision for 2020 is to be the recognized service organization leading advocacy and community support for all First Responders and their families; be a foundation critical to the maintenance and enhancement of public safety in the Greater Omaha Area; and be an essential organization in the realization of Omaha’s 2040 strategy of “People, Place, Prosperity.” By 2025 we will expand this support and advocacy within our region.

Awards and Community Recognition

The First Responders Foundation was honored at the 2015 American Red Cross Heroes in the Heartland ceremony for “Commitment to Communities.”

Upon his retirement as President, our Chairman Emeritus, Ray Somberg, was honored with a flag from the Omaha Police and Fire Chiefs (the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a person from the departments) and given a key to the city from the Mayor, who also officially proclaimed October 26, 2017 as Ray Somberg Appreciation Day.

The First Responders Foundation is a licensed 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit foundation, tax I.D. number 26-3499345.

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