The volunteer side of the Tolland Fire Department held a luau lunch for Tolland senior citizens at the senior center on Sunday, an event that emphasized the closeness that can develop between the volunteers and residents they assist.
"They were really good to me," said resident George Bardons, who said he was without power for ten days after the recent storms. He said that volunteers came to his home with groceries and to check in on him, and that the first responders have even saved his life during a previous emergency.
"These guys are really something else," he said. "I know what they're going through," Bardons added, explaining that he served as a firefighter in the U.S. Navy.
Fire Chief John Littell spoke to the assembled seniors and told them that the department will always be there to assist Tolland residents.
"We're here. This is the crew that's going to be out there," he said, gesturing to the assembled volunteers, as well as their families, many of whom were helping to cook and serve the food.
Littell asked the participants to let them know what they may need in the future for better support, especially after experiencing two severe weather events. Volunteer fire department Captain John Kosciw added while speaking to Tolland Patch, that residents should write down a full medication list for first responders so they are fully informed during emergencies.
After the speeches, the guests, decked out in leis, enjoyed some great food while volunteers handed out raffle prizes.
"This is honoring our seniors," said Tolland Fire Department volunteer Amy Bassett, who coordinated this year's celebration.
The lunch, which has taken place every year since Littell became fire chief, will be held again next year, with an exciting new theme, according to Bassett.
Check out the photo gallery to see the fun.