MERIDEN — Emergency medical personnel have endured adverse conditions to service the community during the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, local officials joined Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz to recognize and thank local first responders as part of National EMS Week.
“The governor and I really wanted to express our thanks, appreciation and gratitude for your commitment, your amazing service, and your courage. You’re our heroes,” Bysiewicz said at the event held in the parking lot of the Hunter’s Ambulance facility on West Main Street.
Over a dozen EMS personnel from Hunter’s attended the half-hour ceremony, which also included remarks from local dignitaries and public safety and health executives.
The country began celebrating National EMS Week during the third week of May in 1974, but “it’s never been so important to celebrate than this year,” said Gary Havican, Hartford HealthCare’s Central Region president.
“I’ve been in EMS myself for 34 years, and I have never experienced anything like what you all are experiencing now,” Havican said. “Your bravery, your ability to run toward the issue, your ability to listen to changing guidelines and keep up with this ever-evolving pandemic is extraordinary.”
Hunter’s CEO Donna Hunter said she “couldn’t be more proud” of how her workforce has responded.
“You have come together as a team, and faced the adversity of this unprecedented pandemic,” she said. “You change people’s lives, and there are no words that adequately thank you.”
Fire Chief Ken Morgan called Hunter’s the “first defense in the streets” for police and fire. Unlike some other municipalities, like Wallingford, that operate their own ambulance services, Meriden is one of several towns that contracts with Hunter’s.
“We have our police department, our fire department, they get a lot of credit for a lot of things that go on, but there’s a third service in this city. Hunter’s Ambulance always seems to fall behind, and I want to salute you guys right now. You’ve been our frontline of defense during this whole thing,” Morgan said.