A good corporate example

Published 10:23 pm Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Driver Volunteer Fire Department, struggling to make the best of less-than-adequate public funds in recent years, got a hand recently from a company without obvious direct ties to the community.

Stihl USA, which has a manufacturing plant in Virginia Beach, recently responded to a request from Driver firefighters for tools the volunteer department needed to replace because of their age. Although the company did not have exactly what the firefighters were looking for, officials got back in touch and offered $2,300 worth of equipment — a quick-cut saw and a chainsaw.

And when Driver’s volunteers arrived at the Virginia Beach factory to pick up their new, donated equipment, they were treated to a tour of the facility and then dinner.

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Since returning the new saws to Driver, firefighters have been conducting training to be sure they all know how to use them safely in emergency situations, and they expect the tools will be in service in Driver for a long time to come.

In these days of tight municipal and personal budgets, volunteer fire departments face the same kind of problems finding the money to buy the things they need that most of the rest of us face. For them, however, failing to get or upgrade needed equipment can have deadly consequences. So volunteers find themselves going out into the community with hat in hand, hoping to plug the gaps.

Companies like Stihl exhibit a sense of corporate responsibility that should serve as an example to the rest of the business community. That the company sets such an example from the distance of Virginia Beach is even more exemplary.