Note from the Editor: This is the first in a series called "Wethersfield Heroes," where our students work to highlight and honor those in our community going above and beyond amidst the tumultuous year. If you know someone that you would like to nominate as a Wethersfield Hero, please contact Mr. Martin at email@example.com.
By: Dana Andrews
Since 1803, the Wethersfield Volunteer Fire Department has gone above and beyond to serve and protect our wonderful community. Even during the pandemic that hasn’t changed, with members doing even more acts of kindness and gratitude.
One member of the fire department stands out, firefighter Javier Bello. Javier has been with the WVFD for the past 2 years. During the pandemic, he has responded to 55% of the fire department's calls for service. Javier has many commitments outside of the fire department which makes this number so remarkable.
Javier has been a patient care assistant at Hartford Hospital for the past 2 years. This May, he will graduate from Sacred Heart University’s nursing program. Javier’s goal in the nursing field is to become a critical care (ICU) nurse.
Congratulations to you, Javier! We’re all so proud of you. You are a great example of a caring Wethersfield citizen we all can count on that makes this town as wonderful as it is.
Javier gave me a glimpse of what his shift at Hartford Hospital is like and what it’s like at the fire department. One thing is evident: his teamwork and compassion.
“In March 2020, we started taking a lot of COVID patients at Hartford Hospital, eventually transitioning to mostly COVID patients. It was a hard time and all of the resources were spread thin, but everyone rose to the occasion and worked together. At the fire department, resources were also spread thin with members getting sick or having underlying health concerns. There was a tremendous amount of teamwork within the WVFD and we made sure Wethersfield wasn’t left unprotected,” he said.
Early on in the pandemic, the fire department started doing birthday party parades with their fire trucks and other gear. You were able to sign up for a parade via email, then the fire trucks would come down your street with lights and sirens full blast. You could see the happiness on everyone’s faces during a dark time in 2020.
He said, “They [The parades] were something we could do to reach out to the community, because COVID affected everyone, the kids who couldn’t have their friends over or see friends at school. It was a way to get involved in the community as much as we could in the setting of the pandemic.”
When things start to get better, members of the WVFD can't wait to do community events that existed prior to the pandemic such as Touch-A-Truck, Cornfest, and various other town events.
Javier Bello is an example of a member of the WVFD that goes above and beyond the call of duty and will lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it.
If anyone is interested in joining the WVFD, they should email Assistant Chief Mahder at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.