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Side Notes 5/18-5/25

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Firefighter Community Assistance Program on Pause

The Bend Firefighters Association created the Bend Firefighter Foundation (BFFF), which includes several nonprofit organizations and projects, one of which is the Community Assistance Program (CAP). This program allows firefighters to spend up to $200 to aid an individual in need, and this may include anything from cough medicine for a child to a coat for an elderly person.

The Bend Fire Department's main objective is to serve the community. "We take pride in the job, but we also work hard to maintain a sense of compassion and humility," says Battalion Chief of Administration Dave Howe, a firefighter since 1975. He understands the day-to-day struggles facing some residents in the community.

Cap. Scott Wyman, who has served with the Bend Fire Department for more than 20 years, has seen firsthand the value of the small gestures of compassion through the CAP. "The intent is to assist people when they are out of options. Sometimes all they need is a little help," says Wyman. Firefighters are held to a high degree of accountability for the funds to make sure that those needing help get it and that the funds are appropriately handled.

Currently this program is on hold due to a lack of funding. Questions may be directed to 541-322-6300. Donations can be made to the Community Assistance Program: 1212 SW Simpson Ave., Bend.

In-migration Outpaces Births in Oregon

According to Oregon Health Authority records, total births in Oregon during 2015 were 46,092, whereas 51,135 people moved to the state. The declining birthrate is typical of the rest of the country with an average birthrate of 1.8 per woman, which is below "replacement" levels.

The implication of fewer babies affects the labor force, classroom planning, social services, healthcare and potential tax revenue. However, Portland State University, which compiles the data for Oregon, believes there is hope that millenials (born between 1980 and 2000) will still produce more children. Women who are educated and enjoy a higher standard of living tend to delay childbearing until later in life in industrialized nations. In Oregon, college towns have the lowest fertility rates.

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