As NFS President Joseph G. Henry handed checks to those representing first responders from Erwin and Unicoi County, he said the checks represented a “small token” of the company’s appreciation for their partnerships.
“But it’s a big thing to us, and I think it’s a big thing for the community when we can all partner together to get the job done,” Henry said.
The Unicoi County Emergency Management Agency, Erwin Fire Department and Southside Volunteer Fire Department received donations from NFS on Monday prior to the annual NFS Emergency Response Organization banquet. The Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department will also receive a monetary donation from NFS.
A release from NFS said the NFS Emergency Response Organization is comprised of a group of “highly trained and skilled NFS employees who are ready to respond to unexpected events at a moment’s notice.” The NFS Emergency Response Organization includes technical experts, a command and control team, and the on-site Fire Brigade. NFS conducts regular Emergency Response Organization drills in concert with the Unicoi County EmergencyManagementAgency and local fire departments.
Henry told officials gathered at the NFS Training Facility the donations were the company’s way of thanking these agencies for their assistance.
“You help us respond to unplanned events that happen here more effectively here than what we could ourselves,” Henry said. “We have a very strong NFS team, but I’ve got to tell you, I sleep better at night because you help us out.”
NFS Communications Manager Lauri Turpin said a total of $5,500 was donated to the four agencies.
“We want to do what we can to help them get the equipment and other supplies they might need,” she said.
Jimmy Erwin, who was on hand to represent the Southside Volunteer Fire Department along with Chief John Hilemon, said NFS has recently sent some of the department’s firefighters to train alongside those stationed at the NFS facility.
“NFS is a great partner to have and very supportive,” he said.
Erwin Fire Department Chief James Bailey said the donation, which is given to agencies annually by NFS, may be used to offset personnel-related costs or may be earmarked for special equipment purchases and other items.
“From year to year, I suppose we use it where it’s needed the most, but it’s greatly appreciated,” Bailey said.