As published in the Record Journal Thursday December 27, 2012
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WALLINGFORD - A local chemical company was so impressed with the town’s preparedness for Hurricane Sandy that it donated money to several emergency agencies.
Evonik Industries, an international corporation with a plant on South Cherry Street, recently gave $5,000 to four local groups: the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Medical Reserve Corps and the emergency department at MidState Medical Center.
“These emergency responders played a crucial role in protecting everyone’s safety,” said Peter Stein, site manager at Evonik’s location in town. “Fortunately, we were not affected as bad as the people in New York City.”
Fire Chief Peter Struble said his department took numerous precautions to get ready for Sandy, even though damage in town was limited.
“Our anticipation was there would be a significant amount of rain,” Struble said. “We were looking at evacuating low-lying areas.”
When weather reports shifted and forecasts predicted limited rain but substantial wind, Struble said crews prepared alternate routes to respond to emergencies if roads were blocked.
Struble said the department receives donations from several companies in any given year, but this is the first time he can recall a company wanting to donate after a particular event. The funds will go toward training and equipment that will help crews respond to an emergency at Evonik, he said.
“It’s a great gesture and we’ll put it to good use,” Struble said.
Stein said the Wallingford site has a good working relationship with the Fire Department. The company co-operates its own fire department with nearby Cytec Industries.
“Corporate citizenship is the cornerstone of Evonik’s operations,” Tom Bates, president of Evonik, said in a statement. “We appreciate the emergency responders’ dedication and commitment to the protection and care of our employeesand neighbors.” Evonik’s Wallingford plant produces specialty plastics used in medical devices, automotive components, marine navigation signals and food and medical packaging.