Inaugural Jackson County First Responders Breakfast deemed a success

The Jackson County Chamber hosted the inaugural Jackson County First Responders Breakfast on Tuesday morning at Pewter Hall in Brownstown.

Members of all departments in the county — professional or volunteer — were invited to the free event.

Representatives from the following departments were present: Brownstown Volunteer Fire Department, Driftwood Township Volunteer Fire Department, Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Department, Indiana State Police, Jackson County Emergency Medical Services, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, Owen Township Volunteer Fire Department and Seymour Fire Department.

Representatives from several of the event sponsors also were present: AES Automotive Equipment Specialist, BSM Groups, Centra Credit Union, Christensen Family Funeral Home and Schneck Medical Center.

Members of the Seymour Young Marines presented the colors, and Pastor Andy Schroeder of Emmanuel Church in Seymour offered the prayer of invocation.

During the event, chamber Director Dan Robison announced all of the proceeds generated from the sponsors will go toward starting a First Responder Training and Equipment Scholarship through the Chamber Foundation.

In early 2023, details will be released on how agencies that participated in the breakfast can apply for a matching scholarship to support training and equipment needs for departments.

“The better trained and equipped our first responders are, the better they are able to serve our community and provide a high quality of public safety,” Robison said.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Dustin Steward he thinks the scholarship is a great idea.

“Especially for the fire departments that are way out that don’t have a lot of money,” he said. “I really like it for those guys to be able to utilize that and get the proper equipment to help people.”

Hamilton Township Fire Chief Cody Hercamp agreed.

“That’s a great asset for us because we have shrinking budgets, plus increased costs of fuel and we actually make more runs now, so it will help get us better trained and better equipment,” he said.

As for the breakfast, Steward and Hercamp both said they appreciated the chamber for hosting the event.

“We know that we’re appreciated, and in today’s times, sometimes, that isn’t the case, but we know that, especially as a small town, we’re appreciated a lot around here. We enjoy that. We appreciate that,” Steward said.

“It was awesome, and we appreciate it. We’re glad to be here to show our support for the chamber,” Hercamp said. “I think our community comes out in our times of need and our fundraisers, and even when we’re on runs, they bring water to us and take care of us.”

Both also liked being in the room with fellow first responders.

“I love it. I love being here with everybody,” Steward said. “I like to mingle with everybody, and we can all sit around and talk and make sure everybody’s on the same page with a lot of things and hang out. It’s always a good time seeing people you don’t get to see every day.”

Any business or organization interested in being a part of next year’s breakfast can email the chamber at [email protected].