The Urbana Fire Division received 30 carbon-filtered particulate fire hoods from Walter and Lewis Funeral Services as part of the proceeds from the inaugural First Responders Recognition Day on May 24 at Grimes Field, where over 300 3-foot by 5-foot U.S. flags created an Honor Field. Individuals and organizations sponsored flags, with part of the proceeds going to a public safety department in Champaign County. Former Gov. John Kasich declared the First Responders Recognition Day as a way to honor first responders for the work they do on behalf of the public.
First Responder Day is expected to become an annual event in Champaign County, with each year’s proceeds going to a different first responder agency in the county.
“The Fire Division felt honored to be selected first and wanted to thank all involved, especially the efforts of Walter and Lewis Funeral Services,” Urbana Fire Chief Dean Ortlieb states in a news release.
Also contributing funds, supplies or time as volunteers were Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital, Peoples Savings Bank, Bundy Baking Solutions, Coppertop Restaurant, VFW Auxiliary 5451, VFW Post 5451, DAV Chapter 31, Cafe Paradiso, Paul’s Catering, Roby’s Memorial, Ohio 911 Honor Guard, KFC of Urbana, Frisch’s Big Boy, Walmart of Urbana, Grimes Air Field, Sunbelt Rentals, Champaign County Department of Developmental Disabilities, Sparky’s Pizzeria, the Urbana High School Band, and the Urbana Fire Division.
“This was truly a community-driven and supported program and the Division wanted to thank all involved for making it a success,” Ortlieb said, adding that one of his goals is to have to two sets of turnout gear, including hoods and gloves, for each firefighter.
”This allows our firefighters after a fire to wash their gear immediately and to have another set ready to wear,” he said. “The carbon-filtered particulate fire hoods are top of the line equipment and can block up to 99% of smoke-related contaminants in a fire. Industry-wide we are finding that firefighters are at increased risk for many different types of cancer. Anything that the Division can do to reduce this risk, we should. These hoods are a part of a risk-reduction program for our firefighters and it was made possible by the community and this event.”
Info from the Urbana Fire Division.