The friends of a Hermitage woman who died in a car accident are making sure her name lives on by helping firefighters get extra training.
“Numb. Not real,” Emily Demuth said.
“It’s still devastating,” Cara Papay said.
It’s been a year and a half since Chelsea Rowe died in a car accident and in that time, her loved ones have raised over $20,000 to benefit Mercer County fire departments.
A memorial sits near the intersection on N. Hermitage Road in South Pymatuning where Chelsea’s car was hit by a semi truck in September of 2016.
“At the scene of her accident, I witnessed first responders do literally everything that they could to save her,” Papay said.
She and Demuth said losing Chelsea still hurts, but they’re making sure her memory is carried on through a similar idea she once had as a fitness instructor.
“She wanted to do some donation-based classes to give back to first responders and that was a few weeks before she had passed,” Papay said.
Hermitage Fire Chief John Flynn has been helping the women out, making sure the money raised pays for the training and equipment needed for the 20 plus fire departments in Mercer County.
He said most of the money that’s been raised so far has been used for specific types of rescue.
“We put these up to stabilize a vehicle when a vehicle is on its side or very unstable.”
The Chelsea Rowe Rescue Fund started about a week after the car accident. It brought in $7,600 at its latest fundraiser and a total of over $21,000 so far.
“The people who are running to the scene, or into buildings or to the tragedies when we are running away, they do so much for us,” Papay said. “The least we could’ve done in that moment to create something good from this tragedy is to put those connections together.”
“I’m sure she has goosebumps. Definitely smiling down,” Demuth said.
To follow what the Chelsea Rowe Rescue Fund is up to next, check out its Facebook page.
Donations can be mailed to Chelsea Rowe Rescue Fund, PO Box 162, Sharpsville, PA 16150.