Three years ago Cabot started an annual grant program to help area fire companies purchase much needed emergency management equipment. These local fire company grant’s funds have been used by United Fire Company (Montrose), Springville Volunteer Fire Company, Hop Bottom Hose Company, Elk Lake Volunteer Fire Company, Forest Lake Volunteer Fire Company and Harford Volunteer Fire Company to purchase everything from search & rescue gear to radio equipment.
To honor the newest recipients and to re-recognize past recipients, Cabot hosted a casual BBQ dinner at its office in Montrose. Representatives from each fire company where joined by Cabot personal representing the drilling, completions, water management, production and EH&S departments.
Cabot’s Director of External Affairs, George Stark emceed the event, kicking off the event with a thank you to all of the first responders in the room: “We value what you ladies and gentlemen are doing for us.” He continued “It’s an important relationship.”
State Senator Lisa Baker, who has served on the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness committee, joined Cabot in honoring the fire companies in attendance for the event: “I know what you do is difficult and takes a lot of hard work.”
In 2012, Sen. Baker was instrumental in writing and passing Act 9 which requires: “the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to adopt emergency regulations requiring the operators of unconventional wells to create unique GPS coordinates for the well at both the access road and well pad to be used by emergency services personnel in responding to an accident, register the address of the well with DEP and county emergency management agency, develop an emergency response plan, and post a reflective sign at the entrance of each well with the address of the well site and an emergency contact number for the operator. “
This year’s recipients Clifford Township Volunteer Fire Company, Rush Volunteer Fire Department and Meshoppen Volunteer Fire Department (Wyoming County), will use the grant monies to purchase a fire truck lighting system, thermal imaging camera and an airbag rescue system.
Rush Volunteer Fire Company Chief Tom Jauss had this to say about the importance of the fire company grant money from Cabot: “not just one department reaps the benefits of the equipment awards, as the local fire companies’ work together. The new equipment, he said, will help the entire area.”
Perhaps the most exciting outcome of the evening didn’t involve Cabot grant program. Rob Gorczyk, who heads up Cabot’s water management operation in the Marcellus, announced that Cabot’s water withdrawal impoundments are now equipped to assist fire companies in emergency situations. Fire companies, equipped with the right equipment and a special access code can now fill tankers to help fight fires. Most of the rural communities in the county don’t have hydrants, so fire companies need to source water in. Having access to Cabot water impoundments will help ease this burden on volunteer fire companies.