Springdale Energy donates $55K to improve safety, emergency services in A-K Valley | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Springdale Energy donates $55K to improve safety, emergency services in A-K Valley

Emily Balser
Submitted by Kevin Funkhouser
Allegheny Valley Volunteer Fire Company was able to purchase new helmets and lights with a donation from Springdale Energy.
Submitted by Kevin Funkhouser
Allegheny Valley Volunteer Fire Company was able to purchase new helmets and lights with a donation from Springdale Energy.

Springdale Energy donated $55,000 to four organizations in the lower Alle-Kiski Valley to help them improve safety and emergency services.

Springdale Volunteer Fire Department and Allegheny Valley Volunteer Fire Company each received $10,500, while Allegheny Valley School District received $16,000 and the Allegheny Valley Emergency Management Agency got about $18,000.

“It’s great to be able to donate and be involved in the community,” said Kelley Pierce, business manager at Springdale Energy, which operates a gas-fired power plant formerly owned by First Energy.

Since taking over the plant’s operations a couple of years ago, Springdale Energy has made it a priority to get involved in the community, especially fire and medical services that would respond to any emergencies at the plant, Pierce said.

Allegheny Valley Volunteer Fire Company used its donation to purchase new helmets and lights for its firefighters, according to Chief Kevin Funkhouser.

Funkhouser said all donations help.

“It’s just one less thing that we have to worry about purchasing,” he said. “Anything is awesome and especially something that sizable of a donation really helps.”

Funkhouser said the donation came at the right time because the department’s helmets were about to expire. They are good for 10 years at a time.

“This stuff is not inexpensive,” he said.

Pierce said the donation to the Springdale Volunteer Fire Department went toward replacing its fire hall roof.

“We weren’t able to cover the cost of the entire roof but we made a contribution toward it,” she said.

Chief Kevin Wilhelm didn’t immediately return a message.

Bruno Moretti, coordinator of the Allegheny Valley Emergency Management Agency, said the donation it received will offset costs of a emergency command trailer that will be used on the scenes of major incidents in Harmar, Springdale, Cheswick and Springdale Township.

The command trailer will allow police, fire, EMS and other officials to work out of one location, improving communication.

“It makes life a lot easier,” Moretti said, adding that the agency has been working for two years to obtain a trailer but hasn’t been able to come up with the $25,000 needed to help pay for it.

“If it wasn’t for Springdale Energy, we wouldn’t be doing this,” he said.

Allegheny Valley School District will put its money toward security cameras.

“It terms of school safety, when you have cameras, they often serve most importantly as a deterrent,” Superintendent Pat Graczyk said. “If we can deter anyone from vandalizing, trying to break into a building (or) trying to harm someone, then it’s money well spent.”

This is the second time the company has donated to the district. It provided money to help fund a program called Project Launchpad, which allowed students over the summer to explore different career opportunities by visiting local businesses.

“They have gone out of their way to donate money to our school district and we are so grateful that they are looking out for us and our kids,” Graczyk said.

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