Waterbury mayor salutes ambulance, paramedic crews for National EMS Week

New Haven

WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Trinity Health of New England treated its ambulance crews and EMS teams with free lunch on Thursday. But, this was about much more than just food.

“I have a full appreciation for what EMS personnel do,” said Mayor Neil O’Leary, who was invited as a guest speaker. “No one could really have a full appreciation for the hours, the commitment, the health challenges that all of our EMS personnel had gone through.”

Workers at the luncheon tell News8 it’s been a challenging a year responding to COVID calls while also making sure they’re safe and still sharp mentally to do the jobs of protecting others.

“It’s been so tough on everybody this past year,” said James Guerrero, a field supervisor at Trinity Health of New England.

News 8 was with Guerrero last summer when he had to get used to going on COVID calls in the heat with his PPE suit. It was an adjustment for ambulance crews and the people they would run into while responding to COVID calls. There was getting used to all of the protective steps they had to take when encountering COVID- positive cases. Many workers were afraid of catching COVID and infecting their families and loved ones at home.

News 8 asking some of the workers on the frontlines of this pandemic what motivates them to keep going.

“When you go to a call, everyday you touch someone’s life,” said paramedic, Lisa Vance. “Whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, you’re there for whatever their crisis is.”

And Mayor O’Leary says that should give all of us some food for thought.

“EMS workers save lives each and every day,” the mayor said. “I just want to tell you from my perspective — a big thank you.”

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