The Orrville Fire Department (OH) purchased two pieces of equipment in memory of Kyle Sprowls, an Orrville High School senior who died in a vehicle crash last year.
The Firefighters Association bought two new thermal imaging cameras that allow firefighters to see heat signatures of people or animals at a fire scene. One of the cameras will be carried aboard fire engine No. 69, and the other on heavy rescue vehicle No. 62.
Fire Chief Bob Ballentine said Sprowls, son of Lt. Kevin Sprowls of the fire department and Dawn Sprowls, had virtually been raised at the fire department and enjoyed helping out, especially during the Independence Day Festival.
Ballentine said everyone in the department knew and liked Kyle, adding, “In the fire service, everybody’s kid is one of our kids.”
Kyle had already made up his mind that, like his father, he wanted to be an Orrville firefighter. He had started studying toward a fire science degree at Stark Technical College and carried a pager that linked him with the department.
On the morning of March 6, 2012, Kyle was driving to Apple Creek to work at the polls on election day when he was involved in a fatal vehicle crash on Carr Road.
Firefighter Craig Hostetler, president of the OFFA, said that immediately after Kyle’s death, memorial donations began pouring in from businesses and individuals.
The donations were overseen by the OFFA, which recently discussed how to best use the money for the fire department in memory of Kyle.
The members voted to purchase thermal imaging cameras at a cost of about $12,000, as the two already owned by the department were 12 years old.
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