Donations are not only filling a necessary need but also proving, once again, the overwhelming support city leaders and residents have for Shelton’s first responders.

Mayor Mark Lauretti was the latest to make a donation, dropping off masks April 4 to the Shelton Police Department. The department, similar to the city fire departments and Echo Hose Ambulance Corps, has been the recipient everything from food to personal protective equipment, as seen every day on Facebook.

In the past week alone, the Shelton police have received more than 300 gloves from donors, with help from state Reps. Jason Perillo and Ben McGorty. Gloves were donated by Splash Car Wash and food from various locations, most recently The Original Jerry’s Apizza. And that does not include the many donations, large and small, from residents.

“Dan Beardsley from Beardsley Cider Mill and Orchard is just one example of a local guy who gets it,” said Perillo about the business owner’s donation of gloves. “When first responders and other essential front-line workers receive this equipment from the community it’s good for morale. It lets them know that they’re not being taken for granted. That their work is appreciated.”

The most notable donation was plastic protective face masks, from Shelton-based Modern Plastics, for each member of the police department.

Shelton Fire Deputy Chief Paul J. Wilson said fire crews have the necessary equipment thanks to the city’s OEM and EMS.

“ShopRite has been a very good support of the Shelton emergency services,” said Wilson. “We have also received some food donations from residents and local establishments. As we are extremely appreciative for everyone who has donated to us and those who drive by saying ‘we are praying for you’ or ‘stay safe.’ We are all working together to get through this.”

Wilson said the volunteers are “doing very well” and “feel appreciated by the public’s outpouring of support.”

For Echo Hose Ambulance, assistant Chief Joe Laucella said Lauretti and city officials have aided in securing many needed medical supplies as well as specialized cleaning products for decontamination of equipment, installing new decontamination wash sinks in the garage for crews, and ensuring there is enough paper towels, hand soaps and supplies.

“They have been providing exceptional support to our EMS crews by working with both local departments, the private sector and state authorities to help secure the much-needed supplies,” said Laucella.

Laucella also credited interim school Superintendent Beth Smith and district Head School Nurse Adrianna Collins with donating a large quantity of surgical masks, gloves and some other medical supplies from the school nurses offices around town.

“The Shelton Intermediate School students, under the guidance of teacher Robert Swercewski, have been able to make full face shields that have been donated as well,” said Laucella. “These students and the schools have been amazing by using their skills and resources to help our EMS providers in Shelton.

“We have had local companies donate some cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers,” added Laucella. “Each donation, no matter big or small is helping. Every bottle of hand sanitizer. Every small item(s) that is donated adds up and is helping us to provide the pre-hospital care to those in need while keeping our crews and those who we serve safe and healthy.”

Even with the smallest donations, Laucella said first responders will have enough supplies to last months while suppliers restock and prepare to send out the supplies ordered on a regular basis.

“Local families have been sending breakfast, lunch and dinner occasionally to our crews and supporting the local businesses,” said Laucella. “This is very much appreciated by our crews because many days we are responding to 20 or more calls and being able to stop and eat a healthy meal can be difficult.”

Laucella said a local family donated $200 to a local restaurant that allowed crews to stop in and get a meal between calls.

“These kind gestures help keep our crews well fed,” added Laucella, “and boosts the mood each time a restaurant arrives at the door with food.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com