The concept for the Hillsborough County Firefighters Charities, Inc. was born during the fall of 2001, when Hillsborough County Firefighters lost Captain Darryl Dzugen who had a heart attack while on duty after a structure fire. Darryl was 36 years old and left behind a wife and 2 children, ages 5 and 8.

Before we could gather ourselves and determine what the needs of Darryl's family were, September 11th unfolded before us. After spending two weeks fundraising for our firefighter brothers in New York, we returned our thoughts to home. What we learned from Darryl's death, and that of our brothers in New York, was we found that we were unprepared to take care of our own. We also learned that dying "on duty" was different from "in the line of duty," and that state, federal and Gold Shield benefits could not always be counted on.

Our mission is to provide community and educational support to the citizens of Hillsborough County and to provide a support system to the families of fallen fire service personnel.