SHAMOKIN — When a simple trip to the grocery store could be considered putting yourself in harm’s way, leave it to firefighters to answer the call.
The Shamokin Fire Bureau is further assisting its residents by offering to deliver groceries to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of the bureau are shopping for disabled veterans, senior citizens and people 60 years of age or older who are either unable or unwilling to venture to stores because of fears of contracting the disease.
Councilman and Public Safety Director Scott Roughton, who is also the president of the Rescue Fire Co., said essential items such as eggs, bread, milk, toiletries and vegetables will be picked up by the volunteers and delivered to Shamokin residents who have met the criteria and called administrative accountant Doreen Annis at city hall at 570-644-0876, ext. 2.
Residents needing assistance are requested to leave a message for a return call with their name, address and telephone number.
Friendship Fire Co. firefighter Nathan McDonald said delivering food and other supplies from stores is another way for the fire bureau to protect its residents.
The 22-year-old will deliver groceries in between working at the Walmart Distribution Center along Interstate 81.
“Hopefully we will see a good outcome,” he said of the bureau’s act of good will. “This is another way to help others. It isn’t just Friendship, but the whole bureau that does a lot for the community.”
The volunteer firefighters will be given the contact information of eligible residents in order to pick up the groceries and make deliveries. Residents must pay cash upon delivery and will get a receipt.
Roughton said the delivery service will continue as long as restrictions remain in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Some people are scared right now to go out for groceries and some others just can’t because of their disabilities,” Roughton added. “I just hope people take advantage of this volunteer service fire bureau members are offering.”
During a meeting Wednesday evening at the Rescue Fire Co., Mayor John Brown asked firefighters to minimize residents’ anxiety to the best of their ability, but cautioned that they should avoid hugs or handshakes that maybe offered.
As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, four people had called city hall and asked for items ranging from pasta to hygiene products, Roughton told members during the meeting.
“We’re not sure how many orders we will get. There might be a lot of orders or there could be very few, but at least we are trying,” he commented.
Independence Fire Co. firefighter Collin Bozza is utilizing his time away from Shamokin Area Middle/High School to ensure the well being of the community.
The junior has not had classes since March 16 due to Gov. Tom Wolf ordering all schools across the commonwealth to close until at least April 6.
“We are doing everything we can to help the community, especially those who can not go out to the store,” Bozza said of the bureau. “I am doing everything I possibly can to make everything better during this time of disease and sickness.”