COVID-19 UpdatesHCN News & Notes

Country Bank Makes $50,000 Donation to First Responder Recovery Home

LUDLOW — To help the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department successfully operate the First Responder Recovery Home for COVID-19-diagnosed first responders, Country Bank announced it will contribute $50,000 to the efforts.

The contribution from the Ware-based financial institution comes with the aim of inspiring other similar organizations to do what they can to assist the department’s effort to help the people who typically help others.

“These are challenging and ever-evolving times as we face the continued uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it will impact our region,” said Paul Scully, president and CEO of Country Bank. “As a community partner, we care deeply about our communities and wanted to show our appreciation and support for first responders, healthcare workers, and their families throughout the region when they need it the most. The First Responder Recovery Home will allow first responders to rest a little easier knowing they have an alternative place to recover should they become infected by the virus. It’s our hope that Country Bank’s donation will be one of many that will support this tremendous initiative, and we welcome other community businesses and financial institutions to express their appreciation of all first responders by supporting the First Reponder Recovery Home.”

The donation, which brings the overall community contributions above $87,000, will help ensure that every COVID-19-positive first responder who comes to stay at the facility has the food and comforts necessary for recovery.

“I can’t thank Country Bank enough for stepping forward and making this donation to help our first responders in this time of unprecedented need,” Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi said. “Their donation will help us provide top-notch care for the people who usually care for us, and a comfortable environment for the people who come running when we are in need in our daily lives. This is our time to help the helpers. It’s the least we can do.”

The Hampden County Sheriff’s Department opened the First Responder Recovery Home this week to fill an unmet need in the Commonwealth of providing a safe haven for our doctors, nurses, EMTs, police, firefighters, and corrections professionals who are diagnosed with COVID-19, but can’t safely go home to recover without jeopardizing the health of a vulnerable family member.

Located at the department’s Pre-Release Center on its campus in Ludlow, the refuge is provided free of charge, thanks to the department’s community supporters and partners.

Cocchi and staff started accepting guests this week, with 84 single-occupancy rooms available. Anyone coming to stay must be healthy enough to care for themselves; however, a pool of voluntary medical professionals from the community, led by Ludlow physician Dr. Shaukat Matin, will be making rounds, and if someone needs more comprehensive medical care, the Sheriff’s Department will help coordinate transportation.

Any doctor, nurse, police, firefighter, EMT, correctional professional, or military member can call (413) 858-0801 or (413) 858-0819 to request a room or ask questions. The facility needs the person’s full name, gender, and expected length of stay, among other information, and all correspondence will be kept confidential.

Community partners include Country Bank, Anthony Ravosa and the 91 Supper Club, Charlie D’Amour and Guy McFarlane of Big Y Foods, Bob Bolduc and Pride Stores, Cesar Ruiz Jr. and Golden Years Home Care, Jim Brennan on behalf of the Edward J. Brennan Jr. Family Foundation, Anthony Cignoli of A.L. Cignoli Co., Jeff Polep of J. Polep Distribution Services, Jay Caron of Bee-Line Corp., Larry Katz of Arnold’s Meats, Andy Yee and Peter Picknelly, and Matin.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the First Responder Recovery Home initiative can send tax-deductible donations to Criminal Justice Organization, 627 Randall Road, Ludlow, MA 01056, and write “First Responder Recovery Home” on the memo line.