HARMONY – Those impacted by flooding will be able to keep their heads above water with help from Harmony Fire District thanks to a donation from the Rotary Club of Zelienople.
Flooding last year was an especially large headache for the Harmony Fire District, said District President Tim Sapienza, who turned to the Rotary Club of Zelienople for help.
Sapienza asked incoming Rotary President Brian Jodon to consider funding several industrial-size pumps. Jodon said the request came at the perfect time.
The club donated six submersible pumps to the fire district at a cost of $2,500.
Firefighters are dispatched to pump water from flooded basements each year, and many times they are frustrated by the equipment they have to get the job done.
“We're a very flood-prone area in Butler County,” said Fire Chief Scott Garing. “Having the capability to be able to pump more water faster will be able to help additional citizens faster.”
Garing said the goal was to get as much funding as possible for as many pumps as they could acquire, but the rotary was able to push them over their target.
Jodon presented fire district members with the pumps Thursday night at The Center of Harmony Opera Hall.
Sapienza said equipping a modern volunteer fire department is extremely expensive, He added that outfitting a single firefighter with the gear to go into a burning building, for example, costs $10,000.
“That's why donations like this are so important to us,” Sapienza said.
Garing said the pumps, which can handle 200 gallons of water per minute, will be instrumental in handling future flooding issues.
“It'll help us mitigate the hazards faster to clear out people's basements quicker and move onto the next one,” he said.
The pumps will move more water out faster because they can go directly into the basement to push the water out rather than working to draw it up and push it out, Garing said. The pumps also work with electricity, which means they can be used either with a generator or through household electricity.
“It's a pretty dynamic situation,” Garing said.
Jodon said supporting the fire district's need was “a no-brainer” for the Zelienople Rotary.
“The fire district is vitally important to protecting our community,” he said. “These pumps will not only help Harmony and Zelienople, but all the surrounding communities.”