Sugar Creek, city partner for fire equipment

By Sarah Gooding
Pittsburg Morning Sun – April 8, 2014

The Frontenac Fire Department and Sugar Creek Packing Company have been working together and training together for about three years, in a partnership that they anticipate will only grow stronger.

“We’re looking at putting together an on-sight emergency response team,” said fire chief John Zafuta, who introduced Jordan Lashmett and Geri Vincent from Sugar Creek, as well as members of his staff.

He said the fire department has volunteered to provide facilities for emergency response training and the two are working together to ensure both entities would be ready for any sort of disaster that could occur.

“Basically, (we’ve prepared) a haz-mat team that would be responsible for chemical leaks or hazards that would occur on an industrial site,” Zufata said. “We’ve also trained alongside them.”

Zufata said Sugar Creek also is helping to make sure the fire department has the equipment it needs.

“At the beginning of the year, I presented an equipment need to the mayor,” he said, holding up an airpack tank. “Airpacks are pretty much our lifeline.”

“The thing about these bottles is they expire after about 15 years,” Zufata continued, adding that the packs run about $900 each and many will begin expiring in the near future.

Zufata said Sugar Creek has stepped up and offered to purchase three of the tanks, and he praised the collaboration that led to the company’s willingness to help.

Lashmett, the plant manager for Sugar Creek, said the company desires to be a good corporate citizen and appreciates what the fire department does.

“In the event that the fire department has to come out to assist us, we want to make sure they’re prepared,” Lashmett said. “We appreciate the assistance from you locally here too.”

Council members and others also expressed their appreciation.

“I would like to thank them also for all the assistance they give to the city,” said police chief Randy Flora.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster