Moundsville Firefighters Lend a Helping Hand

MOUNDSVILLE — An initiative by the Moundsville Professional Firefighters Local 543 aims to ensure fewer children get hurt this summer.

In their first year, Moundsville Professional Firefighters president Kevin Kimple said they gathered around $600 in donations from local sponsors to distribute bicycle helmets to children. The money came from businesses and private individuals, and helped to purchase 80 helmets to be distributed this week.

“We’re trying to proactive instead instead of reactive with the helmets, and try to prevent major injuries to kids,” Kimple said. “It’s summertime, the kids are out and about on bikes. We’re trying to prevent it, but we have a lot of injuries in the summer. Head injuries are a pretty important thing to try to prevent, they can lead to lifelong disabilities.”

Kimple said he sees a lot of children riding without helmets, and wants to prevent them from doing so.

He also said firefighters will distribute the helmets between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The helmets fit children between the ages of 4 and 11, on average.

“Just show up, bring your child with you, and we’ll make sure the helmet fits properly,” said Kimple.

The helmets were provided through Green Acres Power Sports in Glen Dale and purchased with donations from several sources, including the Guest House Restaurant.

Rodney Clark, a manager at the Guest House, said he was approached by the firefighters who asked if the restaurant would like to participate. He said he jumped at the call.

“We see many families coming into our restaurant on a daily basis,” Clark said. “It was a no-brainer. We don’t want to see any of those families coming in unhappy.”

Charlie Reynolds also was contacted by Kimple and personally made a $100 donation.

“It’s something I wanted to get involved with, to help the kids in the local area, and I’m gad I did,” he said. “I see kids all the time who need help. … We’re always donating for coats, bags and things, I thought, why not?”