Munhall firefighter wins makeover for his station
By Tim Karan
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, 3:41 a.m.
The century-old Munhall Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 firehouse will get a $10,000 facelift inside thanks to a firefighter winning a national contest on behalf of the department.
Chief P.J. Ostrowski said volunteer Greg Kretz submitted the winning entry in insurance company California Casualty's annual Firehouse Makeover contest. Designers already are working with the department to improve the living quarters in the building at the intersection of Martha Street and E. Eleventh Avenue.
“We're always entering contests or applying for grants to better our department and get our guys the best we can,” Ostrowski said. “This time, we tried and won. It will definitely help us revamp the building a little and make it a bit fresher for our guys.”
California Casualty received more than 11,000 entries nationwide and the winning name was chosen at random.
“The Firehouse Makeover was created to honor the hard work and sacrifice of firefighters across America,” vice president Mike McCormick said. “First responders dedicate their lives to the service of others and now it's our turn to serve them.”
The company revealed earlier this month that Munhall No. 1 won the contest. Ostrowski surprised the crew with the news during a meeting on Nov. 7.
“The team (from California Casualty) came out and talked with us about what we wanted,” he said. “That's when we told everyone the news. Some of the guys were pretty shocked.”
Ostrowski said the department funded its own partial renovation of the building in the early '90s, but aside from that, he said there's plenty of room for improvement.
“The living areas and the meeting area have the old '70s paneling and all the furniture is wooden with cushions, so a facelift would be nice,” he said. “We're not asking for a lot: We'd like to renovate the bunk room, freshen up the paint and put some new carpet down.”
The updates are expected to be made by next month and the department will make a formal presentation of the award to Munhall council during a meeting on Wednesday evening. Once the overhaul is complete, Ostrowski said the station will host an official unveiling.
“We're all excited,” he said. “It's good when we can provide something for the people who provide so much to the community.”
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1970, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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