OUR MISSION

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

100% of Hillsborough County Fire Fighters (1200 members) have shown their financial commitment to the charity through payroll deduction. Hillsborough Fire Fighters are committed to supporting the charity’s mission and ask you to please join us on our journey.

Our Story

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

Before it could be determined what the needs of Darryl’s family were, the events of September 11th unfolded before the nation. Hillsborough firefighters spent two weeks fundraising for the fallen firefighters of FDNY, prior to returning our thoughts to home. What was learned from Darryl’s passing, and that of FDNY firefighters, is there were gaps in the system. Essentially, leaving us unprepared to take care of our own. Dying “on duty” was much different from “in the line of duty,” and with that  distinction state and federal benefits could not always be counted on.

The result of this experience, and recognizing the needs of Captain Dzugen’s family, evolved first into a Widow and Children’s Fund within the Hillsborough Fire Fighters labor organization.  Looking to the future we began in 2002 working on the formation of the Hillsborough County Firefighters Charities, Inc., a 501c(3) charity financially and legally independent of the labor organization.

Beyond the needs of Hillsborough Fire Fighters own families, the support shown by the community following September 11th was touching and overwhelming. Hillsborough Fire Fighters have always provided community and educational programs through the labor organization, but wanted to expand our commitment through the charity and to community we serve.