Founded in 1969, the Boston Society of Vulcans of Massachusetts (BSVM) (an organization of Black and Latino firefighters) is a community-based non-profit organization comprised of Boston firefighters and local civilians who work together to empower urban Boston residents to pursue public safety careers and to promote knowledge and safety skills through prevention education programs and resources.

The Boston Society of Vulcan’s and other similar organizations, were founded to meet the recruitment needs of candidates of color into the fire service. In addition, once the organizations had grown in size, they would further exist to promote charitable activities, and assist in meeting the public safety needs of growing and diverse inner city populations. As a result, many of the Black Firefighter Organizations today provide to high risk, disadvantaged & youth communities, training and education on Fire Safety, CPR, First Aide, Bike Safety, Car Seat Safety, Injury Prevention, Disaster Preparedness, Violence Prevention, Mentor Programs, Employment Training, and more……


Consider these Facts:

  1. Every day, about 1,000 children end up in hospital emergency rooms with injuries from bikes, mostly broken bones or brain concussions. Approximately one child every day dies from these injuries.
  2. Fires continue to plague Boston on a daily basis. The 2003 Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System (MFIRS) documents that in 2003, Boston had a total of 3,669 fires, the highest number in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with a total dollar loss of $28,152,586.
  3. While CPR has been proven to save lives, the American Heart Association (AHA) estimates that fewer than 25% of all adults in the U.S. have learned these critical skills. The AHA estimates that 100,000 to 200,000 lives of adults and children could be saved each year if CPR were performed early enough.
  4. Disasters disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives every year, and may lead to severe injury or death. It is estimated that 95% of the homes and families in Boston are not properly prepared if a disaster were to strike today.

The Vulcan Society is an independent, incorporated nonprofit organization and one of more than 100 affiliates of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters. As the only affiliate in Massachusetts, Vulcan Society supports and participates in a national campaign that seeks to empower constituents in five areas: Economic Empowerment, Education & Youth, Leadership, Civil Rights & Racial Justice, and Safety & Prevention. This national strategy provides a pool of resources and an economy of scale that benefits and guides all the affiliates, however, each responds to the unique challenges of the region served. Thus, the Boston Society of Vulcans current services, as described in our Programs Section, are designed to meet the specific needs of the Greater Boston community.

We believe your contribution makes a significant impact on addressing the growing challenges facing public safety concerns today.


Your contribution will benefit low and moderate income residents, youth and families living in Boston’s neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain and the South End. Although the Vulcans serve a range of ethnic constituents, 80% of constituents identify themselves as African American and/or Caribbean Americans, and the remaining 20% identify as Caucasians, Latinos and Asian Pacific Islanders. All of constituents live at or well below the federal income poverty level, and have minimal education, safety skills and prevention knowledge.


    • The overriding vision for our safety-training is to promote health and well being for communities that have historically suffered great human and property losses from fire, crime and other dangers.
    • Preventing injuries save lives and money. It is estimated that for every $1 spent on bike helmets, society saves $30; for every dollar spent on car seats, society saves $32, and for every dollar spent on smoke alarms, society saves $21 and hundred of lives. Annually we give out over 200 bike helmets, 100 bikes, 300 car-seats, 1,000 smoke detectors and educate hundreds of residents on various safety topics.
    • For the past ten years, the top four causes of preventable injuries in Boston were motor vehicle incidents, fire, drowning and crime. The combined dollar loss annually from all of these incidents total well over $45,762,200 per year.