Wakefield honors first responders

02May16

By MARK SARDELLA

first_responders

If you encounter a police officer, a firefighter, an EMT or a paramedic in your travels around town, you might want to say “thank you.”

The week of April 25, 2016 through May 1, 2016 was “First Responder Week” in Wakefield, as proclaimed by the Board of Selectmen. Many Wakefield Police officers, Wakefield Firefighters and emergency personnel from Action Ambulance were on hand at a recent selectmen’s meeting to be honored by the board and by the town.

Before reading the proclamation, Board of Selectmen chairman Ann Santos expressed her gratitude to all of the first responders in attendance, noting that the board especially wanted to be able to thank the rank and file first responders who work the front lines and not just the leaders of those departments.

Santos read the proclamation.

“We, the members of the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Wakefield bestow the following:
That first responders are a diverse group of professionals from across the country with backgrounds in police, fire and medical services, among others.

firefighters_lord_wakefield“That these selfless individuals are prepared to assist the residents of Wakefield at a moment’s notice, often putting their own lives in danger to help others.

“That first responders are instrumental in saving those who have been injured, protecting property and shepherding bystanders to safety.

“That it is important that all citizens of Wakefield know and understand the duties, responsibilities, hazards and sacrifices made by their first responders.

“Now, therefore, we the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Wakefield on April 25, 2016 call upon all citizens of Wakefield, and all patriotic, civic and educational organizations to observe the week of April 25, 2016 through May 1, 2016 as First Responder Week in Wakefield, Massachusetts.”

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After reading the proclamation, Santos noted that she is married to a police officer. She said that thanking the families of first responders is also important because they often go through as much as the first responders do.

Selectman Patrick Glynn said that he had a relative who was a firefighter.

pat_glynn“Hats off to all of you,” Glynn said. “Wakefield is lucky to have all you guys. Not only are you all dedicated, but you have great leadership.

“We all hope we never have to call,” Glynn said, “but if we do, there will be help there within minutes – within seconds in some cases.”

Selectman Tiziano Doto also said that he had family and friends who were first responders.

“When everybody else is running away from harm, you guys are running towards it,” Doto said. “And that takes a lot of guts.”

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Selectman Betsy Sheeran noted that she is the mother of a Wakefield Firefighter. She joked that when her daughter first became a member of the Fire Department she got rid of her scanner because it made her too nervous to listen to it.

betsy_sheeran“The men and women of the Police and Fire departments do a very top-notch job,” Sheeran said. She also commended the leadership of the Police and Fire departments – Police Chief Rick Smith and Fire Chief Michael Sullivan as well as Michael Woronka, Chief Executive Officer of Action Ambulance Services, Inc.

On behalf of the EMTs and paramedics of Action Ambulance, Woronka thanked the members of the board.

“Knowing that we are appreciated here in Wakefield is a very big thing,” he said.

[This story originally appeared in the April 26, 2016 Wakefield Daily Item.]

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