The area code "860" should be added to the phone numbers in this article. ~Eli
Voluntown, CT — Local fire departments and medical providers have responded generously to a call to provide direct help to the town of Picayune, Miss., a community devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
On Sunday the local paramedic who is volunteering in Picayune called home with an update on the types of medical supplies a ministry down there needs. Clint Tupper, a paramedic with the Mohegan Tribal Nation, told local emergency management officials that those specific medical supply needs include gauze pads, roller gauze, triangle bandages and basic first-aid equipment.
Charles Jaskiewicz, a part-time paramedic in Voluntown, said the department is asking fire and ambulance departments to donate extra medical gear. Jaskiewicz said that the general public can help by donating Depend Undergarments and Ensure, the supplement shakes.
Jaskiewicz said anyone interested in donating supplies can call the Voluntown Firehouse and make arrangements to have the items picked up. The firehouse phone number is 376-0475.
Jaskiewicz said he is asking local doctor's offices to contact him if they can donate samples of antibiotics. Jaskiewicz said he can make arrangements to have the antibiotics picked up. Jaskiewicz' cell phone number is 608-9594.
The Voluntown Fire Department donated the proceeds of its annual chicken barbeque, held Saturday, toward buying medical supplies. Voluntown Fire Chief Jody Grenier said the department would be buying intravenous supplies today. Grenier said the barbeque raised several thousand dollars for the effort, about double what the department normally raises.
A local truck driver is donating his time and tractor-trailer truck to drive the supplies down, leaving either Tuesday or Wednesday. Len Birdsell, the driver, is a member of the Living Word Fellowship in Voluntown, according to Pastor Les Young.
The Voluntown church is raising money to pay for the fuel, which Young estimated would cost about $1,400. The supplies will go to the Resurrection Life Worship Center in Picayune, whose outreach includes a free clinic and food pantry, Young said.
Jaskiewicz credited local departments with donating a large amount of equipment so far. He said the Waterford ambulance department has been "huge, absolutely massive" in filling a van with backboards, scoop stretchers, gloves, disinfectant, bandages and splints.
Additional fire and ambulance departments who would like to donate should call 889-8803.
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Published on 9/12/2005