On Saturday, Dec. 14, members of the Sunbury Eagles Aerie 3614 and Sunbury VFW Post 8736 joined forces to make a major donation for the refurbishment of the fire safety trailer jointly owned by BST&G Fire District, Porter Kingston Fire District, Harlem Division of Fire, and the Genoa Township Fire Department.
The $40,000 fire safety trailer was purchased in 2008 with a $20,000 donation from the Sunbury Eagles and $5,000 from each of the four departments using the trailer.
BST&G Fire Chief Christopher Kovach said the trailer, with four departments using it, is busy providing fire safety training sessions at local schools and community-based events, with hundreds of school children going through the trailer’s training sessions each year.
Because of the heavy usage the decade-old trailer receives traveling to local schools and community events, it was in need of a complete refurbishment, prompting the Eagles and VFW to join forces and each donate $4,500 to cover the cost of the $9,000 project.
“All four departments that use this trailer as a fire safety training tool thank members of the Eagles and VFW for their generous donations,” Kovach said. “We’ve had this trailer for over 10 years, and our community service organizations have stepped forward to continue their support.”
Post 8736 Commander Verle Potts said the VFW’s service mission is to provide support to veterans and the local community.
“When the Sunbury Eagles found out that the trailer needed repairs and refurbishment they came to our post and asked if we would join them in meeting this need,” Potts said. “Our members voted on it, and it’s the first time that we’ve joined forces with the Eagles to fund a local service project.”
Sunbury Eagles President Steve Webb said the joint effort of the Eagles and VFW funding the fire safety trailer’s refurbishment is precedent-setting.
“The Sunbury Eagles are all about people helping people,” Webb said. “When we join forces with the VFW, our dollars go farther and the contribution helps the entire community.”
The jointly-owned fire safety trailer is used to teach members of the greater Big Walnut community how to be more aware of fire hazards in the home, how to safely escape from a home in the event of a fire, and how to prepare and plan for severe weather events.