Wahl Clipper Corp. honors fallen firefighters with cards and donations
In 2016, York City firefighters Ivan Flanscha and Zachary Anthony were featured in a commercial for the Wahl hair clipper company.
On Saturday, April 28, Phil Wahl, Wahl Clipper Co. representative, and his fiancee, Chelsea Compton, presented donations and plaques in memory of the two firefighters.
Flanscha and Anthony died March 22 when the former Weaver Organ & Piano Co. building partially collapsed.
Their friends and family gathered at the firefighters' home station, Laurel-Rex, 51 S. Duke St., to witness the presentation.
Wahl presented a $25,000 donation to Assistant Chief Greg Altland and his wife, Lisa. Altland was injured in the building collapse.
The couple will donate the money to the fire department to be put toward a mobile fire safety house to teach children about fire safety. It will be named the Flanscha-Anthony Memorial Fire Safety House in honor of the two fallen firefighters.
York City Fire Chief David Michaels said that firefighters found numerous photos of Flanscha and Anthony with children, giving tours of the historic Laurel-Rex firehouse. Fire safety education for children was very important to them, he said.
York City Mayor Michael Helfrich added that the donation has brought the city closer to the $65,000 cost of the fire safety house. More than $50,000 has been raised, he said.
"It's going to be used to spread our fire safety message around the city," Michaels said.
Golden clipper plaques will be hung in the fire department and in the fire safety unit in memory of the firefighters. The plaques read “In honor of their sacrifice, Ivan Flanscha and Zach Anthony March 22, 2018."
"People will see that every time they walk by, and it will be in memory of Ivan and Zach," Helfrich said.
The families of Flanscha and Anthony also received sympathy cards signed by the hundreds of employees at the clipper factory as well as custom-engraved golden clippers with the York Fire Department logo and Flanscha's and Anthony's names on them.
"Those were actually ideas from our factory workers. They wanted to be involved in some way and give back. They were touched by the commercial and by the story and really wanted something to give back personally from them," Wahl said after the presentation.
Cash donations were presented to the families from the company's employees.
"We really wanted somehow to give back and say thank you in any way possible to show our condolences and give just any relief of the grief these families are experiencing right now," Wahl said.
Michaels said the company immediately connected with York City and chose the department for the commercial because they share the values of family and hard work.
"They immediately loved Ivan and Zach," he said.
Michaels said that Wahl reached out to them after the firefighters died.
"This meant a lot. It meant a lot that they didn't forget us, that they knew who we were and they didn't forget our families," he said.