Helping Our Front Line Workers Recover from COVID-19
To fill a need in the community as the COVID-19 Pandemic grew, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department and its generous community partners opened a First Responder Recovery Home.
Located at the department’s Pre-Release Center on our campus in Ludlow, the refuge aimed to help doctors, nurses, staff from hospitals or assisted living facilities, police, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, corrections professionals, U.S. military members, retail/grocery store employees, journalists, parcel delivery employees and other front-line personnel who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but couldn’t safely go home to recover.
For many people, a positive COVID-19 diagnosis is complicated by having nowhere to go but home, where there are often elderly parents, immunocompromised children or spouses and newborn infants. So the medical directive to go home, maintain social distance and recover is not that simple. So as of Tuesday (April 7, 2020) at 4 p.m., Sheriff Cocchi and his staff began accepting guests with 84 single-occupancy rooms available. Anyone coming to stay must be healthy enough to care for themselves, although medical volunteers led by Dr. Shaukat Matin will be available. If someone’s condition worsens and they need more comprehensive medical care, the Sheriff’s Department will help coordinate transportation to a local hospital.
“This is not just a Hampden County Sheriff’s Department effort. This is thanks to the good people in our community who care, and step up when things are tough,” Sheriff Nick Cocchi said. “As I’ve said before, these are stressful and uncertain times, and the only way we’re going to get through this is by working together. I’m just thankful we have so many strong community partners that put people over profits and go above and beyond when we pick up the phone.”
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 Company, Jeff Polep of J. Polep Distribution Services, Jay Caron of Bee-Line Corporation, Larry Katz of Arnold’s Meats, Andy Yee and Peter Picknelly and Town of Ludlow physician Dr. Shaukat Matin.
As the pandemic evolved and the numbers dropped in the Summer and early fall of 2020, the First Responder Recovery Home was closed.
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. Check memo: “First Responder Recovery Home.”
Massachusetts residents and first responders can find a variety of statewide resources related to the COVID-19 Pandemic on Frontlinema.org, a website launched by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
View the flier for the First Responder Recovery Home or download it here.