By Linda Dillman
Holiday decorations are already filling store shelves and retired Madison Township firefighter John Jones hopes the community will help fill the holiday wish lists of needy children by donating to Firefighters4Kids.
“Firefighters4Kids is a program that provides assistance with toys at Christmas,” Jones told the Madison Township trustees at their Oct. 19 meeting. “Last year, we were able to help locally 52 families with 148 kids.”
People donating new toys can drop off their donation at any Franklin County fire station starting the day after Thanksgiving and up until Christmas Eve.
Local families in need can sign-up Dec. 1, 2 and 3 at Fire Station 181, 4567 Firehouse Lane, Groveport (across from Groveport Madison High School), from 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m.
Proof of eligibility includes SNAP, HEAP, etc. documentation, along with the applicant’s photo identification, children’s birth identification and, if necessary, custody paperwork. Participants must live in either the Groveport or Canal Winchester school district to sign up at the fire station.
In addition, motorcyclists armed with toys will roar down the street on Nov. 12 after lining up at Toys R Us at the corner of Groves and Hamilton roads for a toy parade benefitting Firefighters4Kids.
“If you have a bike and a toy, you can participate,” said Jones. “We then gather all of the toys and take them to the warehouse. I estimate that last year there were about 300 bikes driving down Hamilton Road. It’s a lot of fun.”
Other Madison Township news
Fire Battalion Chief Jeff Fasone reported on a request to purchase a pair of replacement thermal imaging cameras for the fire department at a cost of $9,800 for two cameras and related equipment.
When the department purchased its first thermal imaging camera years ago, the individual cost was approximately $24,000 and the technology was in its early stages. The cameras of today are not only less expensive, the imagery is clearer and the cameras are less cumbersome.
“Thermal Imaging cameras allow us to see through the smoke,” said Fasone. “You are able to see contrast and color. Before, it was only black. The clarity is such that you can now see fingers and we have the opportunity to see the flow path.”
Trustees Ed Dildine and John Kershner approved the purchase with trade-in which replaces seven-year-old devices. Trustee Victor Paini was not able to attend the meeting because of a previous commitment.