The Operation Round Up (ORU) grant program recently gave $758.90 to the Mexico Community Fire Association (CFA) for the purchase of a new plastic stretcher for transporting patients. The stretcher replaces its current basket that is made of heavy-duty chicken-wire-like material. The basket has sharp exposed areas and had become a safety hazard for both first responders and patients.
Since its inception in 2004, the ORU grant program has given $356,858 to various community organizations, and the Mexico CFA has been the recipient of just under $12,000 of this amount. Over the last 13 years, the department has submitted 10 grant requests, and the ORU board has been able to approve each of these requests. The Mexico CFA has 22 firefighters and or first responders and serves 2,500 people in a 46 square mile area which includes residents in both Jefferson and Erie townships which are served by Miami-Cass REMC.
Beth Tomes, a first responder for the Mexico CFA, has been writing the grant requests for the past several years. She indicated that she tries to keep their requests at a reasonable amount so that other organizations are also able to take advantage of the ORU resources. In addition to the stretcher, monies received from ORU have been used to purchase fire gloves, a portable tank, fire hose, portable radios, fire boot and hoods, rechargeable flashlights, medical bags, a replacement liner for the association’s portable tank, and a carbon dioxide/flammable gas detector.
Anthony Reich, Mexico CFA fire chief, said he greatly appreciates the monies received from the REMC which has made possible the purchase of equipment that the association would not otherwise be able to afford.