YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Moonachie ambulance squad members collected water, blankets and other goods brought by an 18-wheeler from South Carolina this morning at the Bergen County Law & Public Safety Institute in Mahwah.
The Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, S.C., sent palettes of water, a two-day supply of non-perishable food in hundreds of bags and boxes of canned food.
Bergen County Fire Coordinator Larry Rauch said most of it would go to the Center for Food Action.
Tomorrow, another rig is due to arrive from Chicago, this one with replacement equipment for emergency responders — including hoses, flashlights, batteries and more.
Making it possible are two Bergen County couples – one former, the other current – along with several well-connected friends from North Jersey and the Shore.
It was a little over a week ago that former Lodi residents Nadine and Rich Demczyszyn began collecting goods for Jersey Shore first responders.
Soon, offers began pouring in from throughout the state, the country and the world. What began as a local mission of mercy quickly blossomed into a statewide relief effort for firefighters and emergency medical workers.
They obviously couldn’t accommodate the tractor-trailer shipments at their Jersey Shore home or at the business they co-own, On the Spot Graphics.
That’s when Sherri Ciarocco and boyfriend Lou Tosto then stepped in. Ciarocco is a childhood friend of Rich Demczyszyn. Tosto is a former Lodi fire chief.
They were joined by Rauch (whose son is with the Jackson Fire Department), county Fire Marshal Bryan Henning and Jim Shrewsbury, a county sheriff’s officer who is also deputy chief of the Point Pleasant Fire Department.
As a result, the county Law & Public Safety Institute (Bergen County Police/EMS/Fire Academy) is now the delivery and distribution location for all large shipments coming in to the Demczyszyns.
After Moonachie and Little Ferry first responders collect their supplies, shipments will then be loaded onto smaller trucks and brought to the Shore, as well as to other points of the state hit hard by Sandy and Athena.
Organizers hope to continue raising funds and collecting much-needed replacement equipment, from fire hoses to batteries to boots, Ciarocco said. IEFS isn’t a 501(c )3 – the purpose is getting items that first responders need. However, you can choose to donate money to the effort.
For the full story, click: Bergen, Jersey Shore unite to bring first responders equipment
ABOVE: Moonachie ambulance squad members Nick Kida, Nicole Dirienzo and Gina Pezzillo with Nadine Demczyszyn, in hooded sweatshirt, and her husband, Rich, next to her. ALL PHOTOS by Sherri Ciarocco
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