Canned drinking water donated to fire companies for emergencies

Charlie Lam, Kevin Williams and Paul Marsh Sr., chiefs of the Pinegrove, Rockland and Seneca volunteer fire departments, respectively, stand with some of the canned water that was donated to the fire departments by the National Volunteer Fire Council and Anheuser-Busch. (Submitted photo)
From staff reports

Three local volunteer fire departments – Seneca, Pinegrove Township and Rockland – received a donation of canned emergency drinking water from the National Volunteer Fire Council and Anheuser-Busch.

The donation was made to help provide critical hydration to first responders during this year’s wildfire season.

Erie Beer Co., a local Anheuser-Busch wholesaler partner, and Stubler Drive-Thru Beverage in Oil City coordinated the delivery of two pallets of canned water to the Seneca fire hall this week.

The Seneca, Pinegrove Township and Rockland departments are 100% volunteer-staffed, non-profit, rural departments that also provide rescue and medical quick response service to Cranberry, Pinegrove, Rockland and Richland townships in Venango County.

Collectively, these departments serve nearly 9,700 residents within a 159-square-mile area with roughly 75 active members on their rosters. On average, these departments respond to approximately 50 fire-related calls and 15 vegetation-fire calls annually.

All three VFDs protect their respective portions of the Allegheny National Forest, as well as private forests and open wildlands in northwestern Pennsylvania, which are most at risk for vegetation fires during the summer months.

The three VFDs have been working together since 2019 to research and apply for public and private grants in order to reduce costs and demonstrate the ability for responders from differing departments and functional areas to cooperate and communicate effectively at the scene of an incident.

“Firefighters lose a tremendous amount of fluids during high-intensity fire ground operations. Proper hydration is key to ensuring the safety of our first responders and to keeping them performing at their best,” said Mariel Jeannerat, grant coordination team member at Seneca VFD. “We are incredibly thankful for this water donation from Anheuser-Busch and the National Volunteer Fire Council, so that we may have the resources to keep our firefighters hydrated and ready to respond,” Jeannerat said.