Carolyn Kearney, Easton EMS Assistant Chief and Samuel Staples Elementary School nurse, gets vaccinated.

Easton’s first responders have begun receiving their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Carolyn Kearney, EMT, assistant chief of the Easton Emergency Medical Service and Samuel Staples Elementary School nurse received her shot, photo at left. As did Vic Malindretos, president of the board of trustees, photo at top.

EMTs Mary Pat O’Neil, photo below, and Matt Caldwell are also among the service’s 20 volunteers who have been vaccinated or will be over the next week. Caldwell is also a full-time dispatcher at the Easton Police Department. Others will follow.

“This is such a morale booster to our staff who have been on the front lines of treating our sick neighbors,” EMT Peg Shukie, EMS spokesperson, said.

Police Chief Richard Doyle, who is also Easton’s emergency operations director, said, “So far about 70% of the Police Department has received their first shot, including me.” Police department members have had “no bad reactions other than minor soreness at the injection site,” he said.

EMT Mary Pat O’Neil receives her Covid-19 vaccine.

First Selectman Dr. David Bindelglass, an orthopedic surgeon, and his wife Gloria, a nurse, were vaccinated last week.

The goal is for all Connecticut residents to have access to the vaccination, although this will likely not occur until late spring or early summer 2021. Connecticut is currently in Phase 1a of vaccine distributions.

Those who are being vaccinated in this phase are:

Healthcare Personnel: All paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients of infectious materials. 

Long Term Care Facility Residents: Adults who reside in facilities that provide a range of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently. 

First Responders at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their response to medical emergencies such as Emergency Medical Technicians, Police, and Fire. 

Read more about Connecticut’s Covid-19 response and sign up for alerts here. Watch Gov. Ned Lamont’s most recent briefing below.

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By Nancy Doniger

Nancy Doniger worked as a journalist for three decades and was a founding editor of the nonprofit Easton Courier in partnership with the School of Communications, Media & the Arts at Sacred Heart University (SHU). She served two years as executive member and is now a contributing editing of the Easton Courier. She was a former managing editor of Hometown Publications and Hersam Acorn Newspapers covering Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties. She was a correspondent for the Connecticut section of The New York Times from 1995 until the section was discontinued in 2006. Over the years she edited The Easton Courier, The Monroe Courier, The Bridgeport News and other community newspapers. She taught news editing as an adjunct professor at SHU and served as coordinator and member of the Community Assets Network for the Easton, Redding and Region 9 schools. She was a member of the Newtown Community Center Commission, member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), board member of the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA), and past president and board member of the Barnard Club of Connecticut. She has won awards for her writing from SPJ and NENPA.