VFW Organizes Appreciation Activities to Honor Gahanna and Mifflin Township Emergency Responders

First responders to be honored before Gahanna Lincoln football game, Residents encouraged to share social media messages of thanks at #GahannaFirstResponders

First Responders from agencies in Gahanna and Mifflin Township will be recognized for their service to the community the week of Sept. 18, with events culminating on the field prior to the Gahanna Lincoln High School football game to be held on Friday, Sept. 23.

Initiated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Tri-Community Post 4719, Commander Jerry Kerr brought together the various agencies to recognize and thank first responders with a special service dedicated to law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical personnel. During the week, law enforcement and first responders will be sent thank-you letters from school children, organized by the Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools, and area churches, organized by the Gahanna Ministerial Association, will pray for first responders and their families at services. Mayor Kneeland will formally recognize first responders with a proclamation during the Sept. 19 council meeting at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Gahanna City Hall.

“This event became a dream of mine when I learned about the VFW Post in Chagrin Falls, Ohio doing something similar last year,” said Commander Jerry Kerr, Veterans of Foreign Wars Tri-Community Post 4719. “I thought why not do this for Gahanna and Mifflin Township Police and Fire? They protect us and provide one of the safest communities to live and work in Ohio. They put themselves in harms way, day and night. I felt it was important that we come together as a community and give folks the opportunity to thank a first responder.”

First Responders from the Gahanna Police Department and Mifflin Township Division of Fire and Police Departments will join the football teams for the coin toss on the field prior to the Gahanna Lincoln High School vs. Dublin Coffman High School football game. Residents are encouraged to express their thanks for the services provided by the first responders by signing the banners available at the football stadium and by expressing their thanks on social media, using #GahannaFirstResponders, throughout the week. Students and residents are encouraged to wear blue that Friday in honor of the police and fire service providers.

“I am so proud of our first responders in Gahanna and pray for their safety every day," said Gahanna Mayor Tom Kneeland. "I truly believe we have the finest police and fire professionals in our community. We are very appreciative for all they do to keep our citizens safe and to help make Gahanna one of the safest communities in central Ohio."

The Gahanna Division of Police is comprised of 77 employees led by Chief Dennis Murphy. Each day Gahanna’s first responders strive to deliver exceptional, professional and timely police services to a vibrant and diverse community. As one they are committed “To Serve and Protect."

Mifflin Township has a fire department that serves the city of Gahanna and unincorporated township areas. The division has four fire stations, and employs 80 full time firefighter/paramedics, six full or part-time fire prevention officers and 23 full or part-time dispatchers. Responding to more than 8,706 calls for emergency medical service and 2,050 fire related calls, the township responded to a total of 10,756 calls for assistance in 2015. Additionally, Mifflin Township has a police department that serves the unincorporated portion of the township and employs 6 full time police officers and 7 part-time officers. The department received 4,543 calls for service in 2015.

“When Commander Kerr approached us, we couldn’t have been more flattered to be part of this event,” said Mifflin Township Trustee Joseph Spanovich. “While the firefighters and police of Mifflin Township do not get into this job to be thanked, it is certainly appreciated to have the support of the community behind these brave men and women. Also, we could not be prouder of the strong bonds we have with the city of Gahanna’s Police Department. Together, the city and the township are able to work seamlessly to provide critical police and fire services to the community.”

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