Thanks to the efforts of multiple volunteers and donors, the Village of Staunton in Concord Township will be better covered for potentially bad weather in the future.
For years Ronald Rockhold has attempted to help his community and the local fire department in many ways through the Monsanto fund, “America’s Farmers Grow Communities,” after being selected to receive $2,500 for various years. When he first applied and was selected years ago, he wanted to help the residents of Buena Vista by installing an emergency weather siren. This siren was dedicated to his brother, John Rockhold, a longtime resident who served the Concord Green Township Fire Department and the Washington Fire Department for many years before he passed away.
“Monsanto started this program several years ago, ‘Grow Communities,’ and they would give $2,500 to someone who signed up a non-profit that would benefit the community,” Rockhold said during an interview Thursday. “I signed up the first year and won $2,500, and put up the siren down in Buena Vista. The next time I won it was a drought year and they gave me $5,000, so I had to give $2,500 to the Concord Green Fire Department when we put the siren up in Lakewood Hills, and I gave the other $2,500 to Miami Trace.”
Feeling like he could continue to support the fire department, Rockhold once again applied for the funding and won. This time his plan was to put another siren in at a place where the population density warranted one — Staunton. Jim Garland — recently appointed Fayette County Commissioner and longtime Concord Township trustee — also spoke about the siren on Thursday and explained it was a group effort once Rockhold had secured funding.
Garland said Brody Maust from Hi Tech Electric Contractors was also a big help as he placed the siren on a pole donated from Dayton Power & Light and lifted the entire unit to be placed in a hole. Following this, volunteer Jeff Skaggs helped to wire the entire siren up so it would be functional. This includes a way for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office to activate it anytime they need to alert the public without having to go to the township.
“This siren was replacing the old one on the township building,” Garland said. “Ron has been so great to support the fire department for years now. This siren isn’t the only answer when it comes to protecting people from bad weather, but we know it will help in some way. For instance, someone told us when Ron put the one up in Lakewood Hills just a short while after during a storm, it woke up a dad who was able to get their kid and go to the basement. A tree fell into the house during the storm and had landed right on the kid’s bedroom. Though the house was damaged, it could’ve been much worse.”
The information in this article was provided by Jim Garland and Ron Rockhold.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.