CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) – A newly formed local non-profit made its first donation to the community on Tuesday.
One of the goals of First Responders First Inc. is providing area fire departments with equipment they can’t always buy on their own. The non-profit donated $700 worth of equipment, including cones with lights inside them, LED lights and signs, to the Campbell Fire Department.
“I came in, met with the chief, we sat down and looked over some magazines and some safety equipment they could really use,” First Responders First founder Troy Kolar said. “The cones are collapsible, so they are easy to store on the trucks and they also are illuminated on the inside with a red light so at night they are easier to see and we also got them some flashlights that have flashing strobes on them so they can direct traffic and just bring more awareness to them while they are on scene.”
“As we were going through the catalog, he’s like ‘don’t you want this, don’t you want that?’ We were like wow, yeah, you know,” Campbell Fire Chief Nicholas Hrelec said.
Kolar is a Canfield firefighter and started the nonprofit after a near-death experience on the job in November. Tuesday’s donation was the organization’s first. Proceeds from fundraisers helped buy everything.
“It is very exciting and it has given us a lot to look forward to,” Kolar said. “It started off as a small goal of let’s make a t-shirt, and now we have a non-profit organization and a few months later, we are making our first donation.”
“Being a small department, we have a very limited budget and stuff like this we normally would not purchase. We have to look more towards outfitting the men, radios, stuff like that,” Hrelec said.
First Responders First also is trying to raise awareness about what drivers need to do when they see police, fire or an ambulance on the roads. Campbell will use Tuesday’s donations when firefighters are on a scene.
“Hopefully we will be able to set up down the road and make people aware of it and slow down at least ahead of time, that would be tremendous help for us,” Hrelec said.
First Responders First plans on making more donations to fire departments in the area.