Shelton EMS volunteer plans a 24-hour run to help buy an ambulance
SHELTON — Michael Pereiro will be putting his endurance to the test for Echo Hose Ambulance Corps.
Pereiro, a Shelton resident and volunteer emergency medical technician, will be running a 24-hour ultra-marathon through the trails and streets of the city to raise money to help Echo Hose Ambulance purchase a new ambulance.
“I have always enjoyed helping people along with competing,” said Pereiro, who is also an ultra-marathon runner and professional obstacle course racer, “so I decided to combine my two passions into a fundraiser. And who better to have it for than the people that protect us every single day?
“Echo is a volunteer service that is made up of more than 100 staff and answers more than 5,000 calls per year,” Pereiro said. “These men and women do so much for the community that it was now my turn to step up and help them.”
Pereiro will start his run at midnight June 6 and ending 24 hours later. He has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the run.
“Echo Hose has been important to me ... they have given me not only a great amount of guidance, but it has also influenced me in wanting to pursue EMS,” Pereiro said. “It was not a field I initially thought I would ever be a part of, but now I can’t imagine leaving it.
“I get to walk through the door knowing I have a sense of purpose and I feel that there are too many people who don’t get to know that kind of satisfaction,” Pereiro said. “Once I get a few years of being an EMT down, I want to be a paramedic in a mountain rescue unit.”
For live updates during the run, viewers can check out Echo Hose Ambulance Corps on Facebook at Echo Hose Ambulance Corps and Instagram @sheltonems and @michaelpereiro for updates.
Echo Hose Ambulance Chief Michael Chaffee said the new ambulance will replace an older unit. A van-style ambulance typically costs between $125,000 and $150,000, with variations for model, size and the overall design of equipment and instrumentation built into it.
“Mike is a great guy and volunteer for our organization,” said Chaffee. “He has taken the initiative to make this run happen and support his ambulance service which will pass through to ultimately help the residents we serve.
“I am very proud of him and our team can’t support him enough. I hope our community also sees his efforts and responds. Nothing is stronger than the heart of a volunteer,” Chaffee added.
An Echo Hose Ambulance Facebook post stated that Pereiro wanted to organize a fundraiser for the team several months ago. When he learned of the organization’s plans to purchase a new ambulance this summer, he immediately turned to fundraising for that move.
“The reason I decided on doing the run is the fact that endurance sports have become a major obsession of mine in the past few years,” Pereiro said.
He said he was “hooked” on endurance events after his first Spartan Race in 2016.
“I signed up the very next week for another race, and soon that one race over the next four years would turn in to 21 obstacle course races, six of which were ultra-marathons up Mount Killington and New Jersey, then three trail race ultras and three 10k races,” Pereiro said.
“I’m constantly looking to push my limits and wanted to complete a 100-mile race this year so I figured that 24 hours in Shelton would give me the ability to hit that goal and grab people’s attention to come out and support this fundraiser,” Pereiro added.
Pereiro is a graduate of Shelton High School; he graduated from Southern Connecticut State University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He recently joined Echo Hose Ambulance Corps after completing the organization’s EMT class this past winter.
“I like volunteering for Echo Hose Ambulance because this is my hometown, and I love serving the community where I live,” said Pereiro. “I have learned so much being at Echo Hose Ambulance Corps and I will continue to grow.”