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Firefighters deliver to seniors during crisis

By Brian Rokos

brokos@scng.com @Brian_Rokos on Twitter

The Chino Valley Fire District is finding a way to serve the community even more during the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced many people — particularly senior citizens — into semi-isolation.

Seniors and others at high risk of contracting COVID-19 may contact the Fire District and ask that firefighters and other employees pick up and deliver prescriptions and groceries and perform other essential services.

“Fire district personnel and volunteers will do everything possible to fulfill your needs,” Chief Tim Shackelford said.

In some cases, firefighters have made deliveries between calls.

Firefighter/paramedic Adam Barker recently picked up a prescription at a supermarket and delivered it to an 89-year-old man.

“It’s a great program,” Barker said. “It’s something in addition to what we normally do, but with changing times, we have to change to fit the communi-ty’s needs. I grew up in Chino Hills, so it’s great for me to be able to help my hometown and community.”

Nancy Kontoes said that man was her father. She posted her appreciation on the Fire District’s Facebook page.

“This older generation of seniors have been through and seen a lot,” Kontoes wrote. “They are very independent sometimes to their own disservice. Again, please know how appreciated all of you are who are making a difference in this critical time. Y’all protect yourselves and stay healthy. God bless you.”

Barker said the man “was very grateful, a funny guy. He wanted to tell us a joke before we left.”

Here is how the Serving Our Seniors — or S-O-S — program works: A person should call the Fire District at 909-315-8850 or email sos@chofire. org with a request for service. An employee will ask a series of questions that include name, residence, phone number and information about the service requested.

“Our personnel are thankful for the opportunity to help during these challenging times. Together, we will get through this,” Shackelford said.

Chino Valley Fire District firefighter and paramedic Adam Barker picks up a prescription for a district resident as part of the district’s Serving Our Seniors program. With many elderly residents shut in during the coronavirus pandemic, district employees are making deliveries of prescriptions and groceries to them.

COURTESY OF CHINO VALLEY FIRE DISTRICT

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