Center Township Volunteer Fire Department and Horizon Bank announced a joint public / private partnership to improve emergency services, firefighter training and fire prevention education to the residents and guests of rural Center Township. Working with Amber Cable, administrator of the Horizon Cares Charitable Grant program, Center Township Fire corporation Vice-President Eric Haverstock successfully developed and presented a threefold application to address critical response, training and public education needs that were beyond the budgetary capabilities of the volunteer fire department. Horizon’s generous contribution through this unique grant program enabled the fire department to expand communication capabilities at the new fire station on Johnson Road, integrate new medical training equipment for the first responders, and increase lifesaving fire prevention programs for students at Crichfield Elementary school. This grant made possible the installation of a new exterior phone system tied directly to a 911 emergency dispatch operator. While the station is served by dedicated volunteers, often it is not manned and until the addition of this new phone system to the exterior of the building, emergency services could be severely delayed. Now, at the touch of a button, help can be immediately dispatched. Additionally, the grant provided training equipment to aid first responders to assist in learning the most modern CPR techniques, as well as the use airway management devices. First responder medical assistance has become an increasingly important part of the services the volunteer fire department provides. Finally, this commitment by Horizon Bank expanded the equipment used to teach and practice lifesaving activities to students at Crichfield Elementary school, as well as other local area schools. Throughout the school year, preschoolers through 5th graders learn and practice fire safety messages and techniques, and the addition of this new equipment has become a centerpiece for these critical educational efforts.