Fire dept. gets $100,000 gift for training center

Dick J. Adams, far right, of Sidney, gets a round of applause from Community Foundation Executive Director Marian Spicer, far left, and Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst, after Adams presented Spicer with a check for $100,000 at the Sidney Department of Fire & Emergency Services Tuesday. The money will be used to establish the Nancy Adams Training Center at the department. The center will be named after Adams’ late daughter, Nancy Adams.

SIDNEY — Thanks to a $100,000 gift given in honor of a woman who loved being a paramedic, local first responders will be able to get state-of-the-art training.

Dick J. Adams, working through The Community Foundation of Shelby County, presented the gift to the city of Sidney at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the Sidney Department of Fire & Emergency Services’ Station 1 downtown. The gift will be used to establish the Nancy Adams Training Center at the department. Nancy was the daughter of Dick and the late Barbara Adams.

Accompanying Dick Adams was his son, Richard. He said his sister, who died in 1994, “had an interesting series of jobs. … The job she really probably liked most was as a paramedic.”

“Because of her love for that profession, her father has determined that assisting future generations of paramedics, firefighters and law enforcement officers with up-to-date training equipment would be the most appropriate way to memorialize her life,” Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst said in a news release issued for the event.

Nancy Adams was born in Pemberton, Ohio, and when she was 5 years old, moved to a farm in Perry Township. A graduate of Fairlawn High School, she entered nurses training at Christ Hospital, Cincinnati. Throughout her career, she worked in restaurant management, management in the meat packing industry, as a paramedic, and as a hospice nurse. “She found tremendous fulfillment as a paramedic, and for that reason, Dick has chosen to make this gift to The Community Foundation,” Barhorst said.

“Dick Adams was pleased to learn that as Shelby County’s only paid fire department, the Sidney Fire Department regularly invites local volunteer departments to participate in the formal training that is offered by it. That helped him to know that the Sidney Fire Department should be the beneficiary of his gift, which will benefit all the residents of Shelby County,” Barhorst said.

Barhorst worked with Dick, who is a resident of the Dorothy Love Retirement Community, and Richard Adams through the early discussion of the gift, and Fire Chief Brad Jones, who joined the discussion as the idea continued to germinate.

Richard Adams thanked Barhorst and Jones for providing his father with information about how a gift might be utilized.

“I believe that this training center is just taking one step forward today and there is the opportunity for this to become a regional entity,” Richard Adams said. The training center may affiliate with Edison Community College so that course credit can be given for classes at the center.

Richard Adams, in inviting his father to step to the podium to present the $100,000 check, quipped, “He just signed it out in the car.” That got a laugh, as did Dick Adams’ first remarks: “Now it’s up to me. Who wants it?” He gave the check to Barhorst and Community Foundation Executive Director Marian Spicer.

Asked by Spicer if he wanted to make any further comments, Dick Adams said, “I’m speechless. I’m just here to make things happen.”

“We’re so fortunate here in Sidney and Shelby County to get to work with wonderful people who see the big picture; and not only do they see the big picture, but know how to connect the dots in the big picture,” Spicer said. Without training of first responders, “our community is not as protected as it needs to be.”

Jones said the generous endowment “will not only pay dividends today, but it will pay dividends into the future for Shelby County.”

“It’s a great opportunity for us to enhance the services we provide through training and education,” Jones said.

The initial investment from the gift will be an upgrade of the classroom where the ceremony was being held, Jones said.

Jones stressed that the training center will be available to first responders outside Sidney.

“We are only as strong as our neighbors,” Jones said, “so it’s important for us at Sidney Fire to take the lead role to facilitate the training in Shelby County.”

City Manager Mark Cundiff echoed what others had said in thanking the Adams family. He said the training facility would not have been possible without the gift. “City funds just wouldn’t permit it at this time,” he said.

Barhorst, who had opened the event, closed it by announcing that on Sept. 16, which would have been Nancy Adams’ 70th birthday, the city will dedicate the Nancy Adams Training Center.

This is the second time this year Dick Adams has presented a gift to benefit the community. In the spring, Richard and Dick announced the family was donating $100,000 to create the Barbara Adams Genealogy Research Center, which will be located in the Ross Historical Center. The Shelby County Genealogical Society will have a permanent home at the historical center.