WILMINGTON — A BOX 14 Kick-off meeting to create a volunteer support team for community first responders will take place in the Moyer Community Room (City of Wilmington Municipal Building) on Monday, May 22, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The BOX 14 mission will be to provide rest and relief to first responders during major or prolonged responses like large house fires, ongoing police investigations, and significant incidents that demand responder presence, according to Clinton County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Thomas Breckel.
The BOX 14 project is named in a similar manner as neighboring counties like Fayette, Fairfield, Ross, and Pickaway county teams. Those teams provide first responders with food, hydration, and relief from the elements for rest. This includes defending against heat stroke during hot days with cooling towels and fans, and warm beverages and heaters during winter responses.
Clinton County resident Abbie Beam cited the March 13 grain bin rescue of a 76-year old farmer near Sabina as the moment she knew that something had to be done.
“We saw the conditions our firefighters braved during this response…the winds, snow, and cold. I don’t know how they did it,” said Beam.
Her husband, Bruce Beam, continued, “We thought of the BOX 65 unit in Fayette County and thought it was time to stand-up a Clinton County version for our responders.”
“We have some amazing first responders to watch over and help our residents. The vast majority of the firefighters in the county are volunteer. And like our law enforcement responders, their numbers are decreasing. As a result, they work longer hours and in conditions that would wither most unfamiliar of the demands placed upon them in these roles,” said Kym Parks of ATSG.
She continued, “we wanted to rally community support and create a BOX organization to be the Hero for our Heroes while they are saving others.”
The BOX 14 Kick-Off meeting is intended to recruit community partners for the board, volunteers for response teams, and outreach and fundraising members.
BOX 14 will be funded by community donations and fundraisers, with no taxpayer funds, according to Breckel.
For more information about the kick-off meeting, please contact Breckel at (937) 382-6673.