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Chevron awards grants to Sewickley Twp., South Huntingdon firefighters

Joe Napsha

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. is donating money to two volunteer fire departments in Sewickley Township and two in South Huntingdon Township as part of Chevron's initiative to help firefighters in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia that have Chevron gas wells within their coverage areas.

The Hutchinson Fire Department will receive a $7,500 grant for three new well pads that Chevron has drilled within the fire department's service territory this year. The Rillton, Yukon and Turkeytown fire departments each will receive $2,500.

Hutchinson Fire Department President John Sever said the department will use the money to help pay for improvements to the fire hall. The fire department has installed new windows and a roof and plans to use the money to make its social hall handicapped-accessible, Sever said.

Rillton Fire Chief Paul Rupnik Sr. and Turkeytown Fire Chief Larry Nemec said their departments have not yet decided how to spend the money.

Chevron awarded the fire departments $2,500 for each new well that the energy corporation drilled this year into the Marcellus shale reserves within their service territory.

Chevron said it will donate $1,000 to the volunteer fire departments with existing Chevron well pads in their service area. Fire departments that serve Chevron office facilities will receive $2,500 each.

The money awarded to the local departments is part of Chevron's $240,000 donation to 90 volunteer fire departments and nine hazardous materials teams in areas of Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia where Chevron operates. The company's 2013 donation is $7,500 more than the 2012 donation.

Chevron will donate a total of $16,000 to five fire departments in Westmoreland County and $39,500 to 19 fire departments in Fayette County.

Hazardous materials teams in Fayette, Greene and Westmoreland counties will each receive $9,500.

In addition to the donations, Chevron has partnered with Wild Well Control Inc., to provide training for emergency responders that will prepare them for potential emergencies at well sites. Wild Well handles firefighting, well control and related engineering services for the oil and gas industry.

“The hazmat teams and volunteer fire departments in our operating areas are indispensable to the health and safety of their communities,” said Trip Oliver, manager of public affairs for Chevron's Appalachian/Michigan Strategic Business Unit.

“Keeping the community safe is why we volunteer as firefighters, and we are pleased that Chevron shares our same commitment,” said Dan Stevens, deputy emergency management coordinator for Westmoreland County.

Mikal Zimmerman, policy, government and public affairs representative for Chevron North America at its office in Smithfield, Fayette County, said Chevron has not dictated to the fire departments how they must spend the money.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected] or 724-836-5252.


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