It’s a case of first responders helping first responders.
The Riverhead Police Benevolent Association is donating meals from local restaurants to the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps starting this week.
“The ambulance is really doing a great job,” said PBA president Charles Mauceri.
He said when responding to calls with suspected COVID-19 patients, only one person goes inside the house, if possible, to limit exposure. He said the EMTs with RVAC are typically dealing directly with the patients.
“They are stepping up and they are going directly in, fully geared up, and keeping the police officer out unless it’s absolutely necessary,” Mr. Mauceri said.
The food donations are a gesture to say thanks.
“We would like to extend our gratitude to them and also support local businesses within the township who have repeatedly supported our union and members,” the PBA stated in a release.
And the feeling is mutual.
“We’re gratefully appreciative of the support of the PBA,” RVAC assistant chief Mike Caron said in a phone interview. “It goes to show our well-working relationship with them, and it reinforces that we are all in this fight together.”
Mr. Caron said choosing where to eat can be “a little problematic” at times.
“You have to put a lot of forethought into it at night and decide where we can actually acquire food from, because with the restrictions in place, we usually ended up ordering out most of the time,” he said.
“Now we try and avoid that when possible. Crews are cooking more meals in-house. With the help of the PBA, this will alleviate the trouble of having to worry about what we plan on doing for a meal and we can concentrate more on providing 911 services to the community that we serve.”
While responded to calls be “a little bit” stressful, Mr. Caron said, “we’re weathering the storm and we’re prepared for anything that could come. Our crews are prepared. We have the best personal protective equipment available and we’re taking all measures to ensure our safety and the safety of the community at lease.”
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Riverhead Town climbed to 82 on Tuesday.
From April 1-5, donations are planned from the following establishments:
April 1: Meetinghouse Deli
April 2: River Walk Bar & Grill
April 3: Carlo’s Pizzeria
April 4: Diggers Ale’s & Eats
April 5: Jerry & the Mermaid/Jerry Dicecco
Anyone who would like to contribute to these donations in any way can contact each restaurant to make further arrangements, according to the PBA.
“We’re not a big department, and neither is the ambulance,” Mr. Mauceri said. “If guys start dropping, we’re going to have problems.
“It’s just a whole different world right now.”