RACINE — The Racine Home National Bank, as part of Fire Prevention Week, donated $500 to each of the 12 fire stations in Meigs County.
“We have customers from all over the county, and the firefighters do a great job of serving the community,” Executive Vice President John Hoback said. “During Fire Prevention Week, we wanted to find a way to honor and support their efforts.”
Oct. 4-10 has been designated National Fire Prevention Week for 2015 by the National Fire Protection Association. The organization strives to prevent fire-related injuries and deaths with education and research. The nonprofit organization was established in 1896.
Fire Prevention Week was established later to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire. The fire began Oct.8, and continued into Oct. 9, 1871, killing approximately 250 people, leaving 100,000 people homeless, destroying more than 17,400 structures and burning about 2,000 acres.
This fire, as well as another the same day that obliterated the town of Peshtigo, Wis., changed the way that firefighters and public officials thought about fire safety.
President Woodrow Wilson made the week official when he issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation in 1922. Since that date, Fire Prevention Week has been observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls.
According to the National Archives and Records Administration’s Library Information Center, Fire Prevention Week is the longest-running public health and safety observance on record with each U.S. president signing a proclamation every year since 1925.
All firefighters in Meigs County are volunteers, and without the support of the community, it would be difficult for them to provide the services on which residents of the county rely. The amount the departments receive from taxes and grants are not enough to cover their expenses.
The deficit is covered by donations and fundraisers throughout the year. Efforts at fundraising are organized by the auxiliaries of the department, which are made up of family members and local volunteers.
“We at HNB felt this donation was a way to honor the efforts of all Meigs County volunteer firefighters,” Hoback said, “The community appreciates that they are always on call and go wherever they are needed. I would like to urge everyone to support the departments by attending their funraisers whenever possible.”
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext. 2551.