APS is Grateful for Station 7 Christmas

Akron Fire Department Sends a Thank-You
Posted on 01/05/2021
Image of Station 7 ChristmasGreetings,

I personally wanted to thank everyone who took part in the Station 7 Christmas gift endeavor that took place this year. It was a huge success and a good thing to be a part of during this holiday season and these times we are in. This project was started by a text message to me on Wednesday Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. from Sally and Allan Johnson. They wanted to donate $1,000 to buy gifts for the children of Station 7's district "North Hill." I immediately started contacting District Chiefs to see how we could get this going ASAP. First thing Thursday morning at Fire Training, DC Pascu got the OK from Fire Admin. that I could run with this project. I reached out to the three North Hill elementary school principals: Findley's Sherry Bennington, Harris-Jackson's Andrea Aller and Forrest Hill's Sarah Core. I explained to them what we were going to try and accomplish and if they could compile a list of any kids/families in their schools that could use a few extra gifts this holiday season. They all three were onboard right from the start and so thankful for this opportunity. By Friday morning, they had put together a combined list of 13 families with 28 kids. I then thought how are we going to get all these families handled. So with donations from my family, all three shifts at 7's house, all three shift commanders, Bat 4 Capt. Ed Burns and DC Scott Pascu's family, we were able to raise over $2,800.

Now that I had a list and some funds, it was time to get a shopping plan together. DC Pascu approached me and said his family will sponsor a family off the list on their own and handle all shopping and wrapping of the gifts for that family. The list of families included kids from K-12th grade and ages 5-17 years old. So my wife Pam, my daughter Sydney and I went shopping. After three rounds of shopping, we had all the gifts separated by family as well as kids and we were ready to start wrapping. I recruited some of my guys from 7C to come and wrap gifts. Lt. Greg Oziomek; Firefighters Mike Hause, Bradley Shields and Justin Burns; and my wife and I proceeded to wrap and label over 100 gifts.

The first wave of delivering gifts started Sunday by Station 7A-Shift personnel. On Monday, B-Shift personnel from Stations 2, 7, 10 and 4 with DC Pascu made deliveries. On Tuesday, C-Shift personnel made deliveries and were accompanied by principals and staff from Findley and Harris-Jackson schools. Wednesday was the final delivery day. 7A handled one in the morning, and I delivered one in the afternoon that was out of 7's district accompanied by Forrest Hill Principal Sarah Core.

After everything was purchased and we added some late donations, I had $600 left. We had a couple of North Hill Community organizations in mind to split this, but it was brought to my attention that a fire over the weekend in 7's district on Wall Street had displaced a family with eight kids in it and that someone who works in Fire Administration offices knows this family. So the decision was made to give this family the $600. AFD community services Lt. Dixson handled this delivery.

One thing that was brought to my attention while in contact with these three schools was that there is a big issue with smoke detectors chirping during teachers' Google Meet classes. So I think that this could be a chance to get working smoke detectors and/or CO detectors into these homes. The number of homes that this could affect is huge, due to the amount of kids who are online for classes. One idea could be that the teachers could get contact info weekly of student homes that have a detector issue and somehow relay this info to AFD to get in touch with them.

Warm regards,

Lt. Wayne Foster
Akron Fire Dept.
Station 7-C

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