Fire com­pany re­ceives do­na­tion

De­vel­oper gives check for $750,000 to East Whiteland Vol­un­teer Fire As­so­ci­a­tion

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Adam Farence afarence@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @afarence on Twit­ter

EAST WHITELAND >> In a time when vol­un­teer fire com­pa­nies are strug­gling to raise funds and re­tain vol­un­teers to pro­vide pro­tec­tion cov­er­age to ever-grow­ing de­vel­op­ments, the $750,000 do­na­tion pre­sented to the East Whiteland Vol­un­teer Fire As­so­ci­a­tion was a very wel­come sight.

Brian O’Neill, a prom­i­nent de­vel­oper in the Philadel­phia re­gion, pre­sented a check for $750,000 to the vol­un­teer fire com­pany Wed­nes­day evening at the town­ship’s board of su­per­vi­sors meet­ing.

O’Neill said he made his do­na­tion to rec­og­nize the ser­vice fire­fight­ers and other first re­spon­ders pro­vide to their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. “We love sup­port­ing fire­fight­ers be­cause they’re self­less,” O’Neill said. “I couldn’t think of a greater thing than to sup­port our fire com­pany.”

“You gotta love a first class fire com­pany,” he added.

Gary Sheridan, pres­i­dent of the fire com­pany thanked O’Neill for his con­tri­bu­tion, say­ing it would

help the com­pany pay for its new fire sta­tion they opened in July 2015.

“This is a nice part of the con­struc­tion loan,” he said, ref­er­enc­ing the cost re­quired to build the new fire depart­ment.

Sheridan said a do­na­tion of this size is un­usual.

“It’s al­most un­heard of,” he said. “It’s the largest we have ever re­ceived.”

De­vel­op­ing an area in­creases the bur­den fire de­part­ments shoul­der. New de­vel­op­ments in­crease their ser­vice­able area, call vol­ume, and equip­ment main­te­nance. O’Neill is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing land in East Whiteland.

When asked why he do­nated the amount he did,

O’Neill said “they told us what they needed, and we gave it to them.”

Ac­cord­ing to Sheridan, the fire com­pany han­dled around 200 fire calls a year, and zero am­bu­lance calls.

Now in 2016, he said the com­pany han­dles roughly 700 fire calls and 1,000 am­bu­lance calls.

“We’re ac­tively ask­ing devel­op­ers to con­trib­ute (to fire de­part­ments),” Sheridan said.

East Whiteland’s new fire sta­tion build­ing cost roughly $4.7 mil­lion. Prior to mov­ing into their new sta­tion, the old one had been in ser­vice since 1958.

Con­struc­tion on the new build­ing be­gan in Novem­ber of 2013.

ADAM FARENCE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Brian O’Neill do­nated $750,000 to the East Whiteland Vol­un­teer Fire Com­pany Wed­nes­day evening.

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