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Armstrong County to honor first responders

| Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, 12:51 a.m.

Armstrong County officials plan to honor first responders throughout the region next month.

Officials plan to mark Sept. 11 as Armstrong County's inaugural First Responder Appreciation Day.

The county commissioners expect to host representatives from each of Armstrong's fire, ambulance and police departments during their Sept. 5 meeting and recognize each with a proclamation.

They also plan to recognize the county's 911 dispatchers during the meeting.

“We want to recognize our first responders for all the hard work and dedication they put in each year,” said Michael Stivason, an intern who helped organize the event. “It's going to be an annual event to make sure first responders are recognized for all the work they do.”

In addition to the proclamation, county officials hope to borrow one item from each agency to display in the lobby of the Armstrong County Courthouse Administration Building for the entire month.

Dave Battaglia, chairman of the county commissioners, said Armstrong County officials first began to plan the day of recognition after he met Ford City resident Connie Wright at the Elderton Senior Center, during the facility's volunteer appreciation day.

“Connie asked me if I realized there was no actual day to recognize first responders,” Battaglia said. “I'm glad she brought it to our attention, since we'd never done anything like this.”

Wright, a long-time volunteer at the Kittanning Township Fire Department, said she's seen, first-hand, all the hard work done by not only the fire fighters and medics, but also those who work behind the scenes, organizing fundraisers and other events.

She said she is glad to see the county taking time to recognize the area's first responders, especially volunteers.

“They should be recognized,” Wright said. “There have been a lot of hours put in by a lot of people.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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