Submitted by Scott Trefz
The Canastota Area Association of Churches began their annual Volunteer First Responder Grant Program this week with appeal letters sent to area businesses, civic groups and individuals who have supported the program in the past. These vital grants are an opportunity for Canastota’s four volunteer organizations to acquire needed equipment or “shore-up” program expenses.
Each group of officers was recently asked about what they did with their funds to get an idea of the impact the program is having. This listing illustrates the variety of priorities which these flexible grants allow each company to accomplish:
- The Canastota VFD used their 2018 grant to purchase a 4-Gas Meter, an instrument used to analyze the potential dangers of toxic and explosive gases at each fire site, a great tool increasing the safety of our valued volunteer firefighters. They used their 2019 Grant on Extrication Tools to speed-up getting injured folks out of crushed automobile wrecks, increasing their chances of survival and recovery.
- The Greater Lenox Ambulance Service used their grant money to replace a worn-out CPR Training Dummy. (These things don’t last forever, and are always undergoing design improvements to keep rescue personnel at the peak of performance!)
- The Lincoln VFD purchased a newly-refurbished Squad Truck, and used their 2019 Grant Money to finish outfitting it with lights and EMS equipment. (See photo)
- The Wampsville VFD purchased a specially-made heavy duty washer to clean fire residue off their turn-out clothes. (If you think about it, the average Whirlpool at our homes is just not up to those repeated heavy loads. Check out the picture!)
The needs of each corps are different as night and day, but the grant money is often the margin of victory accomplishing their goals. The Canastota Area Assn. of Churches is proud of the work our men and women rescue responders do and counts it a privilege to help them. To assist in their planning this year, the CAAC has announced the 2020 grants will remain increased to $1,000 for each company. The Grant checks will be distributed at a special breakfast in early May.
Editor’s note: Scott Trefz is a member of the Canastota Area Association of Churches Board of Directors.