Boston Firefighters Credit Union Donates $100,000 to Help With Wellness in the Police and Fire Departments

Pictured at the presentation are left to right:  Ed Street, Chairman BFCU, Joe Finn, Commissioner BFD, Martin Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston, Bernie Winne, CEO BFCU, Willie Gross, Commissioner BPD and Mark McWatters, NCUA Board Member and Past Chairman.   


On Monday July 8, 2019, Boston Firefighters Credit Union (BFCU) held a check presentation event with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn, Police Commissioner William Gross and NCUA Board Member Mark McWatters.  Representing the credit union were Chairman Ed Street, President and CEO Bernie Winne and EVP Cathy Boucher.     

During 2018 BFCU received a special dividend from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), our federal deposit insurer, of more than $100K.  This was possible largely through the efforts of then NCUA Chairman Mark McWatters.   McWatters, after careful analysis of the Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, saw an opportunity to consolidate two separate funds into one and in doing so changed the outlook from one that would require credit unions to pay a premium to one with an opportunity to provide a refund.   This was done while making sure at each step along the way to maintain the integrity and safety of the share insurance fund.  The impact for Boston Firefighters Credit Union was substantial.  Instead of being faced with a premium of more than $100,000, we were now looking at a distribution of a similar amount.     

Since we were already having a successful year, our Board voted to make these funds available for charitable donations.  We were already well aware of the scourge of occupational cancer facing firefighters and had provided financial support to Commissioner Finn’s initiatives through the Boston Firemen’s Relief Fund.  During the later part of 2018, we learned of the wellness concerns of the Boston Police Department and the program being supported by Commissioner Gross aimed at early detection of many job-related illnesses faced by police officers.  The decision for our board was then an easy one as donations were approved and checks in the amount of $50,000 were presented to the respective Commissioners to assist with the wellness in their departments.    

The Commissioners and Mayor Walsh have made wellness a priority in the BPD and BFD.  The Board of Directors and Management Team of BFCU are proud to be among the first partners in recognizing the need and stepping up to help.  We are grateful to Board Member McWatters for the role that he played in making the dividend distribution possible.   We hope others in the business community will join us in recognizing the occupational hazards faced by first responders and will participate in the public private partnership that can begin to address these issues.