RAYSTOWN LAKE, Pa. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) granted the Marklesburg Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) the 2015 Excellence in Partnership Award for their collaboration with Raystown Lake, a Corps flood risk management and recreation project in central Pennsylvania.
The Corps and the Corps Foundation, a nationwide nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Corps-managed lakes, rivers and waterways, present this annual award to recognize exceptional contributions by a partner to the Corps’s many recreational and environmental stewardship programs.
MVFD was nominated by Raystown Lake staff, most notably for their contributions as exemplary emergency medical service responders to the Raystown community. Award winning efforts include the marking, mapping, and accessibility to the nationally-recognized Allegrippis Bike Trail System that will drastically improve their ability to swiftly locate victims of biking injuries throughout the 3,000-acre remote area. Additionally, MVFD procured a terrain master litter wheel transport system, which allows rescuers to negotiate difficult terrain without subjecting the victim to additional trauma.
“We are very excited that Marklesburg Volunteer Fire Department at Raystown Lake is receiving the praise that they deserve not only on a local level, but nationally, as well,” said Nick Krupa, Raystown Lake project manager. “They have gone above and beyond what is expected of most first responders, finding creative solutions to some our most difficult rescue and recovery efforts. MVDF has also supported us in the promotion of our missions, partnering not only with the Corps, but with numerous other local agencies and businesses to provide better service to the visitors of Raystown Lake, and ultimately, to enhance public safety.”
MFVD also successfully fundraised over $100,000 to secure a 25-foot Aluminum Safe V-Hull Fire and Rescue boat from the U.S. Coast Guard, fully equipped with remote-operated underwater camera vehicle and SCUBA team recovery equipment.
MVFD has served alongside the Corps during water safety awareness programs, such as the annual Glow Swim, a nighttime swimming event that teaches children to swim with a buddy and to wear their lifejackets; Critter Night, a program that uses mascots from other agencies and partners to promote water safety, and Smokey Bear’s Birthday Party, which introduces young park visitors to fire safety.
MVFD will be formally honored during an award presentation scheduled for April 6, 2016, in the Raystown Lake region. Edward Belk Jr., chief of the Operations and Regulatory Community of Practice within the Directorate of Civil Works at the Corps Headquarters, will present the award.
Raystown Lake is the largest lake located entirely in Pennsylvania and offers 8,300 surface acres of clear water surrounded by 21,000 acres of forested mountain slopes. Raystown is a multi-purpose lake constructed and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood risk management, recreation and natural resource opportunities, and hydropower. For more information on Raystown Lake, visit the natural resources program link at http://www.nab.usace.army.mil/Missions/DamsRecreation/Raystown.aspx or call 814-658-3405.