Submitted by CAAC Volunteer Grant Chairman, Scott Trefz
Despite the delays and complications that the COVID-19 restrictions put on the Canastota Area Churches’ plans for the popular Volunteer First Responders Grant program, checks were presented to each of the four volunteer fire and ambulance companies this past September.
The usual award breakfast of the past had to give way to “live presentations” in each of the corps’ barns. The delay did permit each volunteer organization to make exact plans for how they would expend their grant monies and, as usual, tremendous benefits will be derived by their careful planning:
- Canastota Volunteer Fire Department will be using its money to lay in a larger supply of the decontamination chemicals that COVID requires them to use on the job.
- Greater Lenox Ambulance Service used their money toward the installation of new stretcher auto-loaders in both of their ambulances. (GLAS officers said these labor-savers cost less that the treatment of one EMT, should they injure their back while loading patients onboard.)
- Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department is purchasing a commercial capacity ice-maker that will serve them double duty: A large supply of ice is beneficial during hot fire scenes to pack onto overheated victims and firefighters, but will also help refrigerate food on the days of their fundraising barbeques.
- Wampsville Volunteer Fire Department recently bought a new rescue squad truck. The grant money will help them outfit it with improved brush firefighting equipment, a frequent need in the territory they cover.
Each presentation was accompanied with special prayers for the safety and effectiveness of each of these four volunteer companies that give so much of their own time for the benefit of all the residents of the Canastota area.
Plans are already underway for next year’s campaign, which will hopefully bring a return to normalcy. An increase to the amount of each grant is also in the works for 2021.