Braxton Citizens' News, Opinion

Important day looming…

A very important day to all of Braxton County is looming. That day is particularly important to the members of our various fire services. The County’s new ladder truck is set to arrive in the next few weeks.

That apparatus will preserve our insurance rate and, while we hope we don’t need it, will prove invaluable in combatting a number of emergencies.

This has been a long-drawn-out process that I have been very close to. Since the application for the FEMA Grant was made in the name of the Sutton VFD, in my capacity as president, I have been involved throughout the process. John Hoffman and I have been the primary contacts. Lots of other people and organizations have been involved as well.

The County Commission, an anonymous donor and the Braxton County Development Authority employed Matt Ward and his Washington DC based company Sustainable Strategies as a grant writer some year also. That money has been well spent as this project alone goes well over $1 million dollars. Plus, Matt has steered lots more money to our county. He gave us invaluable guidance in what the grant application should contain, helped us with that information and then monitored and encouraged those who needed it, during the process.

The County Commission put a substantial amount of money into the match for the grant and for equipment. All the fire departments in the county had a hand in the design phase.

I regret that Danny Myers will not be on hand when the truck arrives. He was instrumental in getting the county’s first arial apparatus. In fact, in my opinion he deserves 99% of the credit due to hard work and perseverance.  He took care of that truck for the remainder of his fire fighting life. Our communities owes him a great deal.

Obviously, my involvement has only been on the administrative side. While I have been in fire service for over 50 years, I don’t like heights and since the ladder company detail was a volunteer assignment, I left it to those younger and more amenable fire fighters who like to do their work 100 feet off the ground.

This new truck has certainly been a joint effort with lots of people working for the common good. I hope we can all share that pride when the new truck finally gets here.