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CHEMTREC HELP Award -Our Commitment to helping Volunteer Fire Departments

CHEMTREC HELP Award -Our Commitment to helping Volunteer Fire Departments

Article By: Erica Bernstein, Director of Outreach, CHEMTREC

For nearly 50 years, CHEMTREC’s engagement with emergency responders around the world has been the engine that drives our success. In light of that relationship, in 2019, CHEMTREC partnered with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to offer $7,500 to two volunteer fire departments in the U.S. that are also members of the NVFC. The awards are intended to help the fire departments enhance their response capabilities and increase local preparedness to respond to and prepare for hazardous materials incidents.

John Modine, CHEMTREC’s Chief Executive, couldn’t be more proud of the new award: “Since 1971, CHEMTREC has worked closely with emergency responders, however I sensed that we needed to have a stronger connection with practical benefits for fire and emergency medical services, so we created the annual HELP award. This award allows us to make a significant financial impact on the communities in most need of our support.”

In 2019, the following departments became the first recipients of the CHEMTREC HELP (Hazmat Emergencies Local Preparedness) Award: Willow Grove Fire Company and Prairie View Volunteer Firefighting Association.

On December 5th, CHEMTREC had the privilege of visiting the Willow Grove Fire Company in Pittsgrove, New Jersey. The Willow Grove Fire Company was established in 1937 and is an all-volunteer fire department. The department handles on average 250 calls a year and serves a population of 11,000 over 45 square miles. Through the HELP Award, the Willow Grove Fire Company plans to purchase four Incident Command System Cases for command operations and hold training for their department. Chief O’Donnell said, “By receiving this award, we are better suited to track the resources operating on the scene of any emergency, including the identity of the responders, their exact location, and the apparatus they arrived on scene with. The incident command cases will help us utilize our resources efficiently at the scene of an emergency. The newer equipment will also allow our personnel to work effectively in keeping the community and environment safe for years to come.”

CHEMTREC visited the Prairie View Volunteer Firefighting Association on December 18th. The department was established in 1986 and has 18 volunteer firefighters who serve a population of 18,000 over 39 square miles and handle 350 calls annually. Chief Jackson said, “As recipients of this award, our department will be better prepared with responding and handling hazmat emergencies involving our railroad system, our local commercial/industrial facilities, and Prairie View A&M University. This award will significantly enhance our hazmat capabilities by purchasing new equipment, hazmat suits, and provide training to our members.”

Thank you to both departments for welcoming CHEMTREC into your stations. We are grateful for the service you provide your communities and appreciate your dedication to enhancing your response capabilities for potential hazardous material incidents.

CHEMTREC is pleased to announce that we will be continuing the HELP Award in 2020 and will be increasing the award amount to $10,000 for two volunteer or mostly-volunteer fire departments. Be sure to follow CHEMTREC on social media for an announcement regarding the award application period opening in early summer 2020! 

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