BOTETOURT – A two-car wreck on Rt. 43 between Eagle Rock and US 220 last Thursday afternoon received the typical response from Eagle Rock fire and rescue volunteers.
Within seconds of receiving the call from dispatch, volunteers were on their way.
A couple of those volunteers didn’t have to go to the firehouse to pick up an emergency vehicle to respond to the wreck.
They left with a fire truck—a licensed first responder EMS unit that’s stocked with medical supplies—from Gala Industries, the very company Botetourt County officials recognized earlier in the day for its support for those fire and rescue volunteers who serve the community.
Botetourt Board of Supervisors Chairman Terry Austin presented a proclamation to Gala Industries President David Bryan at a late-morning gathering at the company plant off US 220 south of Eagle Rock.
Austin and Fincastle District Supervisor Donna Vaughn praised Gala Industries, its management and employees for their dedication to helping the community, and in particular for allowing emergency volunteers to leave work to respond to fire and rescue calls—exactly what some of them did when the afternoon wreck call came in.
Gala Industries, a 51-year-old employee-owned company, manufactures centrifugal drying and underwater pelletizing equipment for polymer production. It has been a mainstay in that part of Botetourt for decades and employs about 180 people.
County Administrator Jerry Burgess, Assistant County Administrator Spencer Suter and Botetourt EMS Chief David Firestone were on hand for the proclamation presentation along with nearly a dozen Gala employees who are emergency volunteers.
Many of those employees have worked at Gala for 20 plus years, and had similar numbers of years as volunteers for Eagle Rock, Buchanan and Glen Wilton fire and rescue and the Selma, Dunlap and Sharon Volunteer Fire Departments in Alleghany County.
Austin thanked the volunteers and Gala for their service, and commended the company for allowing employees to leave work when an emergency calls. He said he wished more companies in the county would do that.
Vaughn said she was proud of the fact that the first company recognized in this way is in her district. “We have to help each other out here,” she said.
Bryan and some of the employee volunteers also praised the way the company management and other employees support the volunteers when they leave work on a call, and support the fire departments and rescue squads when they need other assistance.
The proclamation reads:
• Whereas, Botetourt County has traditionally relied on volunteer fire and rescue agencies to respond to emergency fire and EMS calls, and;
• Whereas, many volunteers are employed by businesses which are located in Botetourt County and their support is both recognized and appreciated by county citizens and the members of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors; and,
• Whereas, Gala Industries Inc., in particular, has demonstrated unwavering support of fire and EMS for over 30 years, specifically by allowing its employees who are also volunteer fire and emergency medical service personnel to stage emergency response vehicles on site and to leave work and respond to calls when critical services are required; and,
• Whereas, this longstanding commitment to public safety has been and continues to be recognized as an incalculable contribution to the safety and welfare of the community;
• Now, therefore, in grateful appreciation I, Terry L. Austin, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, do hereby recognize Gala Industries Inc. for its longstanding, superior dedication to Fire and EMS services in Botetourt County, Virginia.