Hancock teen creates treat pans for county first responders

by Geoff Fox

An idea originating from her mother led Hancock teen Brianna Buskirk to create treat pans for first responders around Washington County.

Brianna’s mother, Beth Buskirk, is a first responder came home one day and mentioned many of first responders in Washington County were sometimes forgotten about with the health care community because many people think about the nurses and doctors.

“Not everyone thinks about first responders and 9-1-1 dispatchers,” Brianna Buskirk said in an email.

Brianna Buskirk, left, along with Leah Keefer (right), recently delivered boxes of treats to first responders and 911 dispatchers through Washington County. Alexis Buskirk, Beth Buskirk, and Chandler Buskirk also helped with the project.
photo courtesy Scott Buskirk.

The treat pans contained about a dozen cookies, Buckeyes, Oreo truffles, and chocolate covered pretzels.

“The process to make enough of the contents for over 30 boxes was very time consuming, and time definitely didn’t slow down,” Buskirk said.

Overall, the entire process took Buskirk, along with Leah Keefer, Alexis Buskirk, Beth Buskirk, and Chandler Buskirk, about 45 hours.

“Originally we didn’t think it would take this long, but across the three day period we were rushing to cross the finish line and by Wednesday when we finally delivered we were all worn out,” Brianna Buskirk said.

Buskirk said they delivered to as many stations as they possibly could all over Washington County.

Those stations included fire stations, police stations and the state police barracks, 911 dispatch centers, and EMS stations.

She said the only stations they couldn’t give trays to were one who were out serving on the frontlines on an emergency call.

Buskirk said a young member of the community, she felt as though this opened up a new opportunity for to interact with not only her community but also outside her hometown.

“I met new people, and it gave me a better idea of how to interact with people in a professional environment, and I feel as though this experience has made me more of a social person in general,” she said.

It also taught her that sometimes you have to move out of your comfort zone to do things that might not be for you but for others.

In doing the treat boxes, Buskirk said she learned to not only think for herself, but others as well, especially those helping people every day like fist responders and 911 dispatchers.

“Because of how this experience not only benefited me as a person socially, and made many first responders day throughout the entire county, I would highly recommend this for anyone, especially people of my age, who are still developing socially,” she said.

Buskirk added she couldn’t have achieved any of this without the help from Leah Keefer, Alexis Buskirk, Beth Buskirk, and Chandler Buskirk, “who all had as equal of a part within the project as I did.”

Buskirk’s parents are both first responders and her father, Scott Buskirk, said they are “extremely proud of all of them” on the project.

As first responders both Scott Buskirk and Beth Buskirk know what a devastating impact and scare COVID-19 has given everyone.

One of the greatest Washington County has always had is everyone to pulls together to get through everything, Buskirk said.

“The girls and Beth just wanted to say thank you for being there for everyone and to remind them that what they do daily does not go unappreciated,” he said.