A last hurrah for the first responders

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  Accepting applause from the public are, from left, school district Operations Manager Steve Bolli, supervisor of testing, guidance, health services and grant management Marilyn Moore, Mayor Don Purdy, Superintendent Annette Giaquinto and township EMS Director Michael Brandenberger. Accepting applause from the public are, from left, school district Operations Manager Steve Bolli, supervisor of testing, guidance, health services and grant management Marilyn Moore, Mayor Don Purdy, Superintendent Annette Giaquinto and township EMS Director Michael Brandenberger.

GALLOWAY – Township Council honored its first responders for their roles during and following the June 30 derecho.

Leaders spoke at the Tuesday, July 24 meeting.

Mayor Don Purdy said they all made him proud of his Galloway pedigree.

“These are the faces you never need to see,” Purdy said. “These people help those who need a place to go.”

There was an EMS meeting at 10 a.m. – and a few hours later a shelter was open at Galloway Township Middle School.

He praised the local school district for its speedy cooperation.

“It could be a lot worse,” the mayor said. “Thank God everyone was at home. There were police out dodging trees. Dispatch had 1,500 calls in the first hours.”

Ambulance Squad Chief Chuck Uhl praised the professionalism of Galloway dispatch and commended everyone who participated in mitigating the effects of the storm.

Superintendent of Schools Annette Giaquinto brought up a number of volunteers who helped set up at the middle school including district Operations Manager Steve Bolli and supervisor of testing, guidance, health services and grant management Marilyn Moore.

EMS Director Michael Brandenberger first thanked his family and reminded everyone of the importance of a stable home front.

Police Capt. Allan Kane reminded everyone that it’s hurricane season.

“We had all our resources put to a test,” he said. “We’re ready.”

Councilman Jim Gorman thanked the first responders.

“A lot of guys were taking off from work – losing pay,” Gorman said. “If you see them, say thank you.”

Councilman Tom Bassford said everybody came together, “They made a bad situation manageable.”

Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola said his sentiments echoed all the other council members.

“Mike Brandenberger – he eats, breathes and sleeps that stuff,” Coppola said. “Mayor Purdy was out driving a backhoe. At the school, Marilyn Moore said we have to do whatever has to be done.”

He added praise for the ambulance squad and police department as well.

Purdy said that others had said it all for a deluxe first response. He praised Beacon Church’s Hope Chest where people can go for food and clothing for being all-inclusive.

“They don’t ask your religion,” Purdy said. “They don’t ask where you live.”

Representatives of the Galloway Township Business Association also made a donation to the Hope Chest at Beacon Free Evangelical Church – the proceeds from A Taste of Galloway held at Historic Smithville.

Gerry Nass and Steve Fiedler presented a check for $4,300 to the Hope Chest. The Taste of Galloway Thursday, June 20, exceeded expectations. It was held on a Thursday specifically to cater to local residents who would sample fare from Galloway eateries and perhaps become patrons if the liked what they tried.

Associate Pastor Al Syvertsen and director of administration Donna DiRenzo represented the church.

“This is very appreciated,” Syvertsen said. “We’ve never fed as many families as we have the past few years.”

The Galloway Township Business Association presents donations to the Beacon Church Hope Chest. From left are Associate Pastor Al Syvertsen and director of administration Donna DiRenzo from the church; Galloway Mayor Don Purdy, and Gerry Nass and Steve Fiedler from the business association.

Mayor Don Purdy commends Galloway’s first responders and volunteers. From left are Purdy, Ambulance Squad Chief Chuck Uhl, EMS Director Michael Brandenberger, Superintendent of Schools Annette Giaquinto and Police Capt. Allan Kane.

Police Capt. Allan Kane describes the volume of police calls while EMS Director Michael Brandenberger looks on at right.


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