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Helping the Helpers

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — On June 24, a transformer fire damaged a building at the Duke Energy plant in Hamilton Township. The early morning call brought several emergency services agencies together to either fight the fire, standby for backup or otherwise aid those involved.

Last week, Duke Plant Manager Paul Lesner showed his appreciation to those EMS agencies by handing $1,000 donations to the Hamilton Township, Upper Township, Coal Grove and Elizabeth Township fire departments, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and Southeast Ohio Emergency Services. Green Township fire and rescue also received a donation but officials from that entity were not able to attend last week’s ceremony.

Lesner praised the emergency agencies for their professionalism and dedication.

“We hope we never have to call the folks again but we know if we ever do, they will respond to our needs,” Lesner said.

While praise is nice, the donations are even nicer. These days emergency agencies work with shoestring budgets. Donations, therefore, are especially important and particularly appreciated.

“This will be probably be used for equipment,” Elizabeth Township Fire Chief Dale Waugh said.

“Every donation helps,” Upper Township Fire Capt. J.D. Pancake said. “If not for donations and tax dollars, we wouldn’t be able to operate.”

Coal Grove Assistant Chief Brian Sherman agreed the donation would probably be used to purchase new equipment and agreed donation were “extremely important.”

Hamilton Township Fire Chief Mike Pearson said his donation would likely be used as a down payment on a new truck.

Sheriff Jeff Lawless said the donation to his office would likely be used for supplies for the investigative unit – items his deputies often do without because of meager finances.