Video by Patty Stocker
State Rep. James Arciero speaks with the town of Littleton’s Police Chief, Matt Pinard, and Littleton’s Fire Chief, Scott Wodzinski, to gain their perspective on COVID – 19 as seen from the frontlines. The three talk about how first responders, lawmakers, and the National Guard came together to contain the Coronavirus outbreak last month at the Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley, a senior living facility in Littleton. Wodzinski, said the biggest concern at the time was overwhelming local medical facilities with a high number of patients.
When asked what they have seen as the biggest change since the state wide shutdown on March 24, Pinard responded, “People are adhering to the stay-at-home order the best they can. Traffic has definitely dimmed down quite a bit.”
“The biggest change is that since this whole pandemic began”, said Wodzinski. “We are wearing our own PPE (personal protection equipment) in addition to putting PPE on the patients, no matter what their condition is, just for everybody’s protection.”
Pinard touches on the difficulties his department faced when three of his dispatchers tested COVID – 19 positive. “It is very detrimental to these small towns as we provide communications not just for the police but the fire, the Littleton electric and water departments, highway department, said Pinard. “We’re the lifeline and hub of the town.”
Wodzinski said one of the things that he is finding is that residents are afraid to go to the hospital for general illnesses which means they are actually becoming sicker. “They’re waiting because they don’t want to be exposed to any of the COV-19 stuff at the hospitals so now when we get called for a medical, it’s actually a serious matter just because people are waiting too long.”