Frontier honors emergency responders

PARKERSBURG – For the second year, a local telephone company hosted a picnic to honor emergency responders on Thursday.

More than 50 responders, representing the Parkersburg Fire Department, the Wood County Sheriff’s Department, the Parkersburg City Police Department, emergency medical responders, West Virginia State Police, the Wood County 911 Center and others, gathered under tents set up outside the Frontier Communications building on Market Street with Frontier employees to enjoy a picnic luncheon.

Those who attended had choices of hot dogs, hamburgers, barbecue, potato salad, baked beans and desserts.

Frontier has valued its participation and place in the community and the picnic is one way to keep the relationships going, officials said.

“This is our way of thanking them for keeping our community safe,” said Lisa Browning with Frontier Communications.

Last year’s inaugural event came about because of the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the desire of Frontier employees to show their appreciation for the local EMS workers.

“For our second year, we decided to expand the lunch and reach out to other emergency responders, including the 911 center,” Browning said. “It’s just something we can do to thank them for so much.”

Browning said the organizers and other Frontier employees want the area emergency responders to know how appreciated they are for being close when there is a need.

“We are open 24 hours and we often see police checking on things or responding to a call,” she said. “It is comforting to know we can rely on them.”

When the earth tremor occurred on Aug. 23, 2011, emergency crews went to and checked Frontier’s building to make sure it was safe for employees. At times when the alarms have gone off, they have come and checked on things and helped get people out of stuck elevators.

Browning said she expects this event to continue and grow.

“We had a vision to do this last year and this year it broadened and maybe next year we will expand it more,” she said. “Everyone seems to really enjoy themselves and it’s a great time.”