Letter: Shelton celebrates New Year with fireworks, COVID-19 test kit distribution

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Below is a Letter to the Editor from this week's Shelton Herald. If you'd like to have a letter to the editor run next week, email letters to brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com

Contributed photo

To the Editor:

It was another very special New Year’s weekend in Shelton. For the second year in a row Mayor Lauretti and the Shelton Parks and Recreation Department provided the city with a grand and safe way to usher in the New Year with a bang. Well actually hundreds of bangs during a 25-minute spectacular fireworks display at the Shelton War Memorial Park on Friday night.

The DJ started at 6:30 p.m. prompting many to dance and sing on Canal Street and under the lights of the pavilion. More than 1,000 who attended and enjoyed a balmy Dec. 31 evening. From the Farmers Market you could see many looking on from their apartment windows. On the other side of the river in Derby and Ansonia residents had a wonderful view of the festivities while some risked parking up on Route 8 at Exit 14 to enjoy the show.

The best New Year’s surprise came from the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). After failing to receive an allotment of COVID-19 test kits for distribution before Friday afternoon, OEM Director Michael Maglione mustered Shelton PD, Firefighters, EMS and other volunteers to assist in the distribution of 2,500 tests on Sunday that were delivered just the day before. A very well planned and executed program by one and all on such short notice.

The spirit and accomplishments, perseverance and stories of our Shelton first responders never gets old. There are many first responders who hail from families two and three generations back having followed their fathers, mothers and grandparents serving as firefighters, auxiliary members and EMS personnel. Our Shelton EMS services employs more than 35 people and boasts almost double that number in volunteers. Some work as nurses on long shifts during the day and then begin a tour of duty on one of our EMS four ambulances. EMS is now responding to an average of 20 911 calls each day. Training is available whether you want to be a career, first responder, a volunteer or just want to be know the proper way to provide CPR in an emergency. It is never too late to learn basic emergency care or explore a new career. Many volunteers are persons who are well past their 40s, the new 20s I have been told.

Some Shelton residents have even made their life’s work as military first responders. We can celebrate a brave and talented Shelton native from a large Shelton clan and SHS graduate. Sara Tagg is presently serving in the Texas National Guard. She qualified for ROTC as a junior in high school and did her basic training early to join the military immediately after graduation. She started her career in the Connecticut National Guard but the opportunity to continue her education and training has her presently stationed in Texas. Her journey to Texas had her in several other states and on battlefields aboard. She is one of an elite group of specially trained air-medics who are tasked with flying in to recover wounded soldiers and provide medical care while returning them to hospitals and MASH units. She has combat experience evacuating the wounded in the middle east. Her training and experience will qualify her as a Physicians Assist in any medical facility. She is also training others to be able to give lifesaving medical care while in a Medivac helicopters or USAF transport jets. Her family looks forward to her possible promotion to Staff Sergeant in the near future.

We are faced today with many challenges and need to remember how our forefather/mothers worked through many difficult times when they did not have the medical technology, medicines and facilities we have today. Our spirit, determination and working together is important for everyone to overcome and survive these challenges as a community, state and nation. Stay strong and if you require assistance please use the State of Connecticut 211-help line for referral to community services.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe New Year in 2022.

Anthony F. Simonetti

First Ward Alderman