President's Message [Joe O'Brien]
Greetings and welcome to 2022, our 75th year of serving Central Ohio Firefighters. 2021 was a very busy year for all of us as we saw an increase in incidents by 42% from 2020. The largest increase was in supporting training events that may have been put on hold from the COVID year. We also supported the Firehouse EXPO which made it’s Columbus debut in 2021 and will return this year.
The heat was a factor again last summer as our volunteers spent 40 on duty shifts so we could respond immediately to provide cooling devices and fluids to help prevent heat exhaustion to the firefighters.
Through generous donations and grants we were able to purchase our first brand new truck. The new truck is a smaller utility version and carries all the equipment and supplies we need to provide rehab for the first responders. Getting a new truck also will help cut down on the costly repairs of our 20-year-old trucks.
On August 14 we officially put the truck in-service with a dedication, blessing and a push in at Station 1. Many of our donors, the Columbus Fire Pipes and Drums, and Firefighters joined the members of Box 15 for the event. Two days later it took it’s first 2nd alarm in on the Southeast side. We were able to donate our old Rehab 1 to Seneca County CERT team who provides rehab to the First Responders in Northern Ohio.
Last year a local business “Campbell Restoration” started the Annual Box 15 Golf Outing event to help us get funds for supplies and equipment. We are looking forward to the event again this year.
Our team of dedicated volunteers staffed our trucks for over 3,100 hours. This commitment shows our appreciation to all the firefighters and first responders that serve our communities. I greatly appreciate and thank our active members for their service and dedication.
Please review our statistics, the numbers which reflect the volume of products we dispensed. We are very fortunate to have generous businesses and personal donations that provide us with water, sports drinks, and equipment. The financial donations help us with the cost of other supplies and maintenance of our trucks. In October we were able to order a new cab and chassis for our oldest Rehab truck to replace our oldest truck, Rehab 3, which is a 25-year-old vehicle. The new truck is expected to be in service by fall of 2022.
We are very proud to say all donations, grants we receive, or funds raised during apparel sales, goes back to our first responders. Again, Thank You to those who support us, Box 15 and our mission.
In closing I would like to recognize Brett Barber; Brett has been with Box 15 for 27 years, over 1/3 of our 75 years. Brett has retired from active membership and moved to Lifetime member. Thank you, my friend and mentor.
Box 15 President
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Box 15 Mission Statement:
The Box 15 is a 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to providing Canteen and Firefighter Rehabilitation Services, and to support, as best we can, in every practical way, the work of our "first line of defense against the ravages of fire" - the men and women of the fire service.
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